Nov 24, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Ole Miss Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin, left, and Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach shake hands after the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

It was announced early Tuesday morning that Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach had passed away. Leach had suffered a major heart attack Sunday that he was unable to recover from.

There has been an outpouring of support from across the college football world including from rival head coach in the state of Mississippi Lane Kiffin who coaches the Ole Miss Rebels.

Kiffin offered this touching tribute to the late coach Tuesday.

“I truly loved Coach Leach and every minute I shared with him,” Kiffin made in a statement. “I have been able to work with several of his former players and coaches, and they have told me so many stories about the impact he had on their lives. Going back to our years together in the Pac-12, I have always felt tremendous respect and admiration for coach, his unique personality and his innovative mind, and I can’t imagine college football without him. I’m grateful to be part of his final win, hug him and watch him walk off like the winner he is.

“I know God is welcoming home the Pirate now.”

Leach was known as an offensive genius from his days as head coach at Texas Tech, Washington State, and his final stop at Mississippi State. He was beloved by many because of his laid-back attitude and often funny takes on not only college football but life in general.

Leach’s last victory as head coach was over Kiffin and Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.

{Lane Kiffin}

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.