College football legend Mike Leach passed away this week after suffering from complications related a previous heart condition.
The Mississippi State football coach was 61 years old.
Leach was in his third year at the helm of the Bulldogs’ football program, but prior to that he had already established his legacy as an all-time great.
His impact wasn’t just limited to the football field, though.
On Tuesday, college football writer Crissy Froyd shared Leach’s final words to her in an emotional article on Sports Illustrated. It really drove home the effect he had on those around him – not just his players and coaches.
“He told me that he appreciated everything I had done and that the effort I had put in had never gone unnoticed,” she wrote.
“Then he proceeded to give what was probably the most compelling speech on life I’ve heard in a while which ended in simple fashion and with what I never could have predicted would be the last words he ever spoke to me. They were familiar ones.
“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, kid,” he told her. “Call anytime.”
It goes without saying that Leach always marched to the beat of his own drum. He was just that kind of guy.
But the reputation he was able to create speaks for itself. He was 158-107 in his 21 seasons as a head coach and was a true visionary when it came to getting quarterbacks to play at a high level.
It is no coincidence that his passers own four of the nine highest passing yardage totals in college football history.
Plus, Leach’s coaching tree largely speaks for itself:
Mike Leach’s coaching tree will continue to grow his legend and legacy. pic.twitter.com/oMK40ckIrn
— 247Sports (@247Sports) December 13, 2022
This has been a crazy year for college football. Between the staffer who rammed her car into a player over a romantic tiff, the Deion Sanders money allegations and some of the horrendous criminal stuff that occurred – it has been one thing after another.
This is the video that got Mandy Rose released by the WWE. https://t.co/ArDyealYxr
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 14, 2022
Losing Leach is just the latest blow.
Hopefully Mississippi State closes the year out by giving their recently departed head coach the send off he deserves.
It’s definitely the tribute he would have wanted.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.