What Did Mike Leach Die From? Who Was He?

What Did Mike Leach Die From: American college football coach Michael Charles Leach (March 9, 1961 – December 12, 2022) worked mainly at the NCAA Division I FBS level. He won two national and three conference coaching awards and was the architect of the NCAA’s record-breaking air raid offense.

From 2000 through 2009, he served as the head coach at Texas Tech University, where he amassed the most victories in program history. After Texas Tech, he spent 2012 to 2019 as the head coach at Washington State University, collecting the third-highest number of wins of any head coach in school history.

Then, from 2020 until his passing in 2022, he served as head coach at Mississippi State. When Hal Mumme was the head coach and Leach was the offensive coordinator at Iowa Wesleyan, Valdosta State, and Kentucky in the 1990s, Leach was known for directing offenses that involved a lot of passing to multiple receivers in a spread system known as the “air raid.”

Leach developed the air raid spread system with Mumme. Leach set numerous school and NCAA records with his offenses while working with Mumme and then as a head coach. Leach led his unranked team to victories over teams that were ranked in the AP poll on eighteen occasions, which is the most in the AP era.

What Did Mike Leach Die From?

What Did Mike Leach Die From
What Did Mike Leach Die From

Mike Leach, a quirky, blunt-spoken head coach at three universities who oversaw the daring, potent, pass-happy Air Raid offense and impacted N.F.L. teams and other colleges, passed away on Monday in Jackson, Mississippi. He was 61.

According to the school, his three seasons as head coach at Mississippi State University were cut short due to problems from a heart issue. He was flown to a Jackson hospital on Sunday after having what the university described as a “personal health concern” at his Starkville residence.

Additionally, he had just struggled with pneumonia. Leach used his frantic Air Raid offense in his games against Texas Tech, Washington State, and Mississippi State. With four or five receivers dispersed widely along the line of scrimmage, his quarterback threw an exceptionally high amount of passes from the shotgun formation with each squad.

His teams had a 158-107 record over 21 seasons and won eight out of the 17 bowl games. There is no way I would be where I am today if it weren’t for Mike Leach and everything he taught me about the game, according to Kliff Kingsbury, one of Leach’s quarterbacks at Texas Tech who later coached there and is now the head coach of the N.F.L.’s Arizona Cardinals.

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He was more than just a coach; he was undoubtedly one of football’s most creative offensive brains. Kingsbury topped the country in passing yards along with Texas Tech’s other three quarterbacks, B.J. Symons, Sonny Cumbie, and Graham Harrell (Harrell twice).

Gardner Minshew, one of his quarterbacks at Washington State, led the nation in that figure in 2019. Will Rogers, the current Mississippi State quarterback, set the school record for career throwing yards with 10,428 while playing under Leach.

He also set the Southeastern Conference record for career completions with 922 (he finished with 1,130). Harrell, currently the offensive coordinator at West Virginia University, said in a phone interview that the best thing about what he accomplished was that it didn’t matter if the opposing team saw our signals.

He would assert, “They still need to defeat us.” He believed we could outperform everyone. The Air Raid offense was described as “a mood: optimism” by Michael Lewis in a 2005 feature of Leach in The New York Times Magazine.

He continued that it is intended to increase the likelihood of something positive happening rather than to decrease the possibility of something negative experience. However, as Leach noted, something negative always occurs.

He asserted in football that “there is no such thing as a flawless game.” “I don’t believe that the ideal play exists. 11 men between 18 and 22 are attempting to perform something violent and quick while frequently in pain. Someone will make a mistake on an assignment or conduct something improperly.

In each of his ten seasons in Lubbock, Leach’s Texas Tech teams finished with winning records. In 2008, when the Red Raiders won their first 10 games and were rated No. 2 nationally, he had his best season. They have ranked No. 12 thanks to their final record of 11-2. Coach of the Year for the Big 12 Conference was Leach.

Leach was fired after the following season, when Texas Tech completed 8-4, for his “constant acts of insubordination” and how he treated wide receiver, Adam James. James charged him with keeping him segregated in a media room and equipment garage while he missed practice due to a concussion.

Leach, according to the university, “meant to belittle, humiliate, and punish” James “rather than to serve the best interests of the team,” Leach admitted to The Times that he had only given the order for James to be “removed out of the light” and that he was unaware of any further charges.

He did not coach for the following two seasons, but his name kept coming up for other opportunities. He worked as an analyst for SiriusXM and the CBS College Sports Network. In addition, he published “Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life,” his autobiography (2011, with Bruce Feldman).

When Washington State hired Leach in 2011, following a 4-8 year, it had been a Pac-12 doormat for over ten years. Before reaching his best in 2018 with an 11-2 record, he had losing records in each of his first three seasons there. But in 2019, the Cougars dropped to 6-7.

He criticized his players after two heartbreaking losses early in the season. He noted that most of these men played on the same tough team last year. They are entitled, obese, stupid, and happy. He also took responsibility for not communicating with them, along with his team.

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