UPDATE: Miss. State football coach passes away; family requests privacy

Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach
Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach(Josh Auzenne | WAFB)
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 10:54 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi State University football coach Mike Leach has died. He was taken to UMMC this weekend after experiencing “a personal health issue” at his home.

MSU spokesman Sid Salter said Leach’s family is with him and they are requesting privacy at this time.

“This is the extend of information that MSU has available regarding Coach Leach’s condition, and the university will make no other comment at this time. MSU will issue additional information via social media when it becomes available,” Salter wrote.

Leach was airlifted to UMMC on Sunday after initially being treated at Oktibbeha County Hospital in Starkville.

The 61-year-old coach, now in his third year at State, was slated to lead the Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4) to the ReliaQuest Bowl on January 2. Defensive coordinator Zach Arnett has been put in charge of the team as it prepares for the matchup, according to the Associated Press.

The football world is rallying around the coach.

Alabama Football reached this statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike Leach, his wife Sharon, their family and the doctors treating him. Mike’s infectious personality and passion for the game have impacted the sport in so many positive ways during his career.”

Coach Prime also is praying for the coach’s recovery.

Dana Holgorsen, head coach of the University of Houston, went to Twitter to say his thoughts were with his mentor. “While I am devastated by today’s news, I know Mike is a fighter with an incredible spirit and I know he will continue to battle.”

OM Rebel Nation, meanwhile, became a fan of Leach years ago, when the Leach’s Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated their in-state rivals, the Texas Longhorns.

State government leaders also have shown their support, including Gov. Tate Reeves and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.