Thoughts on Mike Leach – from a Husky
Coach Mike Leach passed away late last night (December 12th, 2022), from complications of a heart attack.
Coming to work this morning, I knew he had a heart attack...I was holding out hope that he would cling to life and survive. Aly, my morning co-host gave me the bad news from TMZ - on the air at 6:10am.
Mike was 61.
Mike Leach was the head football coach at Washington State University from 2012 to 2019. After having success in Pullman, Coach Mike left for SEC glory, to coach at Mississippi State.
Coach Mike was a different kind of guy - who saw the World differently.
He was a college football coach - who never played a down of college football. Mike played high school football and switched to Rugby at BYU in Provo.
Mike Leach's unique view of football included his invention of the famous Air Raid Offense. A successful style of attacking football, he fine tuned at Texas Tech, from 2000 to 2009.
Mike generously shared his unique view of the World with the media. You could approach him with a question on any topic - and he’d have a waterfall of ideas and thoughts.
His view on weddings.
This morning, I have seen many many posts on Twitter & Facebook - Kind and funny words poured in for Coach Mike.
Jeff Aaron, from Fox Sports 1380AM in Everett wrote:
I met him once and asked him to be on my radio show, he gave me his personal cell number and said" If I want to talk to you, I'll answer". I only ever called once, and he appeared on a Saturday afternoon show I was doing at KJR, he was aloof, some say goofy, but a true original and you had to tread carefully with your questions. I looked up his phone number on my phone this morning to see our last exchange. I had texted "dont go" (it was Nov 30th 2017) ...no response. I could have texted the same thing on this day. "Dont go" far too young at age 61. RIP
My good friend, Jeremy Anders: A coach at Wenatchee High School and director at the Wenatchee Valley Super Oval shared this on Facebook:
He was a special coach that did it his way and was loved by his players, fans and even rivals. He will be missed. Somebody that I looked up to as a coach.
"...and even rivals"
That really got me.
I attended the University of Washington and have been a lifelong fan of the Huskies.
That said, i knew that Wazzu got a coach that made the Cougs dangerous and entertaining. In 2012, He helped orchestrate an Apple Cup 4th quarter comeback from being down 28-10. His Cougs came back and forced overtime - then beat the Huskies in Pullman.
I watched that game from TV in a Seattle Hotel room with Cliff, my father-in-law. (Our entire family was taking in a Christmas shopping trip in the big city) I'll never forget Papa Cliff's long laughing spell after the Cougars got the W.
That really stung.
Mike Leach was quirky. He loved pirates. He loved Native American history, and Geronimo. Mike loved doing football differently. Mike Leach lead young warriors who fought for him, their school and their band of brothers.
From a Husky: Mike will be missed.