Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach passed away on Monday night at the age of 61. 

The University confirmed that news on Tuesday morning. Leach suffered a “personal health issue” at his home on Sunday, according to a previous release from Mississippi State. 

Leach just finished his third season in Starkville, but his impact on college football stretches back decades. Along with Hal Mumme, he was one of the pioneers of the air raid offense in college football. 

Leach first worked with Mumme at Iowa Wesleyan in 1989. From there, the duo moved on to Valdosta State and, eventually, Kentucky. 

By 1999, Leach was hired by Bob Stoops as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. He spent 1 year in Norman, building the foundation of the offense that would go on to win the 2000 National Championship. 

Leach was hired to be Texas Tech’s head coach in 2000. He led the Red Raiders to their most successful 3-year stretch in program history: 9 wins in 2007, 11 wins in 2008 and 9 wins in 2009. 

In 2012, Leach took the Washington State job and helped the Cougars reach 6 bowl games in 8 seasons. Leach’s streak of 5 consecutive seasons with a bowl game is by far the most in program history. 

In Leach’s final game at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs defeated Ole Miss 24-22 in Oxford. It was Mississippi State’s first road win in the Egg Bowl since 2018. In 3 seasons at Mississippi State, he went 19-17 overall and 11-15 in SEC play. 

Leach is survived by his wife, Sharon, and their 4 children: Janeen, Kimberly, Cody and Kiersten.