‘True College Football Original’: Sports World Sends Tributes Following Beloved Coach Mike Leach’s Death | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Katie Jerkovich.

    Prominent athletes, coaches, commentators, and others posted touching tributes on Tuesday to beloved Mississippi State college football coach Mike Leach following news of his death. He was 61.

    Leach sustained a heart attack at his home in Starkville on Sunday. He was airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where he died.

    Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was just one of the hundreds who reacted on social media.

    "Prayers to the Leach family!" the former Super Bowl MVP tweeted with praying hand emojis. " True legend of the game!"

    "There is no way I would be where I am today if not for Mike Leach and everything he taught me about the game," Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who played under Leach at Texas Tech, shared in a statement.

    "Truly one of the most innovative offensive minds in football, he was more than a coach," he added. "He was a mentor, a friend and one of the most special people I've ever met. My heart goes out to Sharon, the Leach family and everyone who had the privilege of knowing and loving him. Our sport was better because of Mike Leach and is far less interesting without him."

    "Heartbroken. Prayers for the entire Leach family and [HailStateFB]," Tennessee Volunteers head football coach Josh Heupel tweeted, along with a statement calling Leach "one of a kind."

    "He saw something in me that no one else did," the statement read. "Like so many across our sport, I am grateful for Coach Leach's impact on my life both personally and professionally. His offensive philosophy and vision were ahead of his time, and they continue to shape the game today."

    "Off the field, he was one of a kind - an incredible storyteller, a man full of wisdom and someone who always cared about his former players and coaches," he added. "I enjoyed our friendship over the years."

    "[Mike Leach was] the smartest coach I've ever been around. ... He's one of the truly irreplaceable figures in the history of the game," ESPN commentator Paul Finebaum shared. "Records are one thing ... but the legacy that one leaves behind is what I heard from his many friends and coaching colleagues."

    And they weren't the only ones shocked and saddened to learn of the coach's death.
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