After being rushed to a Jackson, Miss. hospital Sunday afternoon, Mike Leach passed away on Monday at the age of 61. Leach, affectionately known as "the pirate" was one of college football's greatest personalities and will be missed sorely by his fans, players, and family.

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Mississippi State released a statement early Tuesday regarding the coach's passing. 

Leach was reported to have suffered a massive heart attack in Starkville and went without medical care for a period of time before being transported to Jackson. In the time following the episode, he suffered seizures and his brain was deprived of oxygen.

Leach started his coaching career at Cal Poly before moving to the College of the Desert and then a Finnish team, the Pori Bears. He then came back to America to serve as an assistant at Iowa Weslyan, Valdosta State, Kentucky, and Oklahoma before receiving his first shot at being the head man in 2000 with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, a position he held until 2009. Leach went 84-43 in his time in Lubbock.

One of Leach's biggest impacts on football at all levels was his decision to play Kliff Kingsbury at quarterback. Kingsbury set NCAA records for completions in his time with Leach and would eventually go on to be the head coach at Texas Tech himself, where he coached Patrick Mahomes, one of the faces of the NFL today. Kingsbury currently serves as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

Leach was out of coaching for three years following his difficult departure from Texas Tech. The popular television program Friday Night Lights was reportedly based loosely on the events surrounding his departure. During this three year hiatus from coaching Leach also wrote a book, which became a top-ten New York Times Best Seller. It is titled Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and in Life. 

In 2012, he was hired to be the head coach of the Washington State Cougars, where he compiled a 55-47 record. After the 2019 season, he accepted the job he held last at Mississippi State. He went 19-17 in his time with the Bulldogs.

It is likely that Leach will be remembered most for his kindness, generosity, and entertaining exchanges with the media. Leach's rants were some of the most beloved things in college football media.

Until the dust settles and more permanent decisions are made, defensive coordinator Zach Arnett will be acting as interim head coach of the Bulldogs.

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