Head Coach Mike Leach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the sidelines during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Miss. State Coach Mike Leach Dies at 61 After "Massive Heart Attack"


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UPDATE: Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach passed away on Monday night, the school announced on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. He was 61.

"Today, we mourn the loss of Head Coach Mike Leach," the team's football Instagram account wrote.

"We are supported and uplifted by the outpouring of love and prayers from family, friends, Mississippi State University, the hospital staff, and football fans around the world," Leach's family said, via ESPN.. "Thank you for sharing in the joy of our beloved husband and father's life."

Leach is the first active SEC coach to pass away since LSU coach Bo Rein died in a plan crash in 1980. According to Sports Illustrated, Leach's death is the first of an active FBS coach since Northwestern's Randy Walker, who died of a heart attack in June 2006 at 52.

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As college football players entered the transfer portal for Colorado, Heisman Trophy debates raged on Twitter and fans prepped for the upcoming college football playoff, Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach began trending for all the wrong reasons. According to a report by the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Leach had a massive heart attack that left the Mississippi State Bulldogs' coach battling for his life in critical condition.

Mike Leach's Heart Attack Leaves Coach in Critical Condition

Head coach Mike Leach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs watches his playeres warm up before playing the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images 

Originally reported as a "personal health issue," head coach Leach was taken by EMTs to Oktibbeha County Hospital near his home in Starkville, before being airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. As of publication on Monday morning, Dec. 12, the 61-year-old head coach, in his third season leading the MSU football team, remains hospitalized. Sources say the former Texas Tech and Washington State coach may have suffered seizures with the possibility of brain damage, an explanation for the seriousness of Coach Leach's condition.

According to ESPN, Mississippi State president Mark Keenum and athletic director Bracky Brett have decided to place defensive coordinator Zach Arnett in charge of the football program until the head football coach returns, leading the Bulldogs football team against Illinois at the ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa Florida. Leach led Mississippi State to an 8-4 regular season record and an appearance in a bowl game. That's not too shabby for a team that began the NCAA football season outside of the AP rankings.

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Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Mike's family during this incredibly difficult time.

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