Ex-WSU Coach Mike Leach Has Died, Air Raid Godfather Was 61
Mike Leach has died after suffering a massive heart attack; he was 61.
Leach will be fondly remembered not just for his sense of humor and antics but for the way he revitalized three college programs and changed football offensive concepts with his pass-happy Air Raid offense. Mississippi State University says Coach Leach died from "complications due to a heart condition." Mark Keenum, university president, released a statement saying in part, "I will miss Mike's profound curiosity, his honesty, and his wide-open approach to pursuing excellence in all things."
Leach's death sends shockwaves throughout the college football world. It's the first time an FBS head coach has died since 2006.
The Captain, as he was fondly called by fans, changed the fortunes of Washington State's football program. Five of WSU's best single-season passing marks were set by quarterbacks under Leach's tutelage including Luke Falk, Gardner Minshew, and Connor Halliday. Halliday set a college football record with 734 passing yards in a single game in 2014 while Anthony Gordon threw 9 touchdown passes in 2019, two shy of the college record.
It's unfair to see someone so beloved and so committed to their craft plucked from this world while they were still doing what they loved. It's an unpleasant reminder that life is fleeting and we are guaranteed nothing. Mr. Leach went out a hero, however, as ESPN reports he "participated in an organ donation" in what his family says was his "final act of charity."