Mike Leach impact: College football world addresses game-changing legacy following head coach's passing
Mike Leach passed away late Monday evening following complications related to a heart condition. The loss is a tragic one for the Mississippi State community and the world of college football.
Leach’s coaching career began all the way back in 1987 at Cal Poly. He eventually worked his way through the coaching ranks with stops at Valdosta State, Kentucky and Oklahoma before landing his first major head coaching job at Texas Tech.
Leach would go on to produce a 158-107 overall record in 21 seasons as a head coach. He is also widely regarded as an offensive innovator for his work with the Air Raid offense.
Following Leach’s passing, fans and media have expressed widespread condolences for the head coach while discussing his longstanding impact on the world of college football.
Mike Leach had his detractors. He was certainly not without controversy. Honestly, he kind of dug both of those facts. But no matter where one stood on Leach, there is one fact that is indisputable: The world is going to be less interesting without him in it.
— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) December 13, 2022
Mike Leach’s fingerprints are all over college football. The game would not be what it is today without him. And, as a person, he was one of one. Such a loss
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 13, 2022
Mike Leach was an original, a thinker, and an innovator. Three great legacies. Prayers for the Leach family, @HailStateFB, and all his coaches past and present.
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— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) December 13, 2022
RIP, Mike Leach.
College football isn’t the same because of your ideas and innovations and it won’t be the same without you.
— Adam Spencer (@AdamSpencer4) December 13, 2022
You will certainly be missed, but your impact on so many will live on-
Thankful for every moment. You changed my life and so many others.
All of our prayers are with Sharon & the Leach family-
Rest In Peace my friend🙏 pic.twitter.com/C43e2MZvBB
— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) December 13, 2022
As a personality, Mike Leach was unparalleled in his sport. As a coach, he was a key innovator in football’s spread revolution, especially at the college level. He should be remembered among the makers of the modern sport.
— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) December 13, 2022
Mike Leach passed away Monday night. Made an incredible impact on college football. https://t.co/8umpsNqsCe
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 13, 2022
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) December 13, 2022
Mike Leach’s legacy is impossible to summarize, but his Air Raid tree best does it justice:
Neal Brown, WVU
Sonny Cumbie, La. Tech
Sonny Dykes, TCU
Dana Holgorsen, Houston
Lincoln Riley, USC
And those are only a few of many branches. Leach’s football influence is boundless #RIP
— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) December 13, 2022
I was in 1st grade when Graham threw the ball to Crabtree against Texas. Thank you for giving me a chance as a 17 year old. From Wazzu, to Mississippi State I will never forget everything you taught me and the relationship we had. I will see you again someday coach. #RIP pic.twitter.com/2gBYxkKRAj
— Will Rogers (@Wrogers__2) December 13, 2022
Every Mike Leach tribute is along the lines of “wow he was a character,” and he was certainly that, but few people have had the impact on how the game of football is played at all levels over the past 20-30 years
— Patrick Andres (@PAndres2001) December 13, 2022
Mike Leach invited me down to his Key West home before his first year at Washington State. A walking tour that lasted 8 hours, 5 miles and a few adult beverages later I got to my hotel room and asked myself, “What just happened?” I will always remember The Pirate.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) December 13, 2022