Illinois football offers condolences to Leach family


On Tuesday, the sports world was saddened to hear about the passing of Mississippi State football head coach Mike Leach, who passed of heart-related complications, the school announced. 

After hearing the news, multiple sports figures reacted to the news and offered condolences, grievances and stories about the legendary head coach. Along with those who spoke, Illinois head football coach, Bret Bielema, and athletic director, Josh Whitman, contributed to Leach's memory and showed their sympathy to the family. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike Leach’s family," Bielema said in a statement. "Today is a sad day for college football. We lost a great coach, a great person, and one of the legendary personalities in our sport. Mike and I built a long friendship after first meeting at the Alamo Bowl in the early 2000s. We shared so many memories over the years. RIP, Mike."

"On behalf of Illinois Athletics, we are saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Leach," Whitman said in a statement. "Coach Leach was one of our game’s great innovators and a beloved figure in college football. Our thoughts are with the Leach family, his former players, and everyone with Mississippi State Football."

Leach, 61, has been in the coaching scene since 1987. During 2000-09, he earned his first break as the head coach of Texas Tech. From 2012-19, he then went on to become the head coach of Washington State's football team. He spent the last three seasons at Mississippi State. 

He has a head coaching record of 158-107 and a bowl record of 8-9. He won the college football head coach of the year award in 2018.

According to Leach's family, in a statement released by the school on Tuesday, he participated in organ donation at the University of Mississippi Medical Center as "a final act of charity."

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