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Mike Leach


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One of the amazing things about the Pirate is how he could consistently pull upsets of your school (as several schools can attest) and yet you still had to love him.  His wit, his irreverence, and his willingness to discuss almost ANY topic made him a rare commodity in CFB and even sports in general.  When we lose one that is TRULY one of a kind, you know you've really lost something. 

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From a Facebook post of a Mississippi sports reporter.  Sorry but this was too good not to share.  Is there any wonder why this man was so beloved?


How welcoming, how kind was Mike Leach?
Jeff Tyler of Wetumpka, AL contacted me to tell me a great story.
It’s a story that reminds us of Coach Leach’s patience, his keen memory and his interest in others.
I think you will enjoy this tale!
“Three years ago, I took my 11-year-old son to a Mississippi State game.
Jackson wanted to see pre-game warm-ups, so we were practically the first fans in the stadium.
We took our upper level seats, and my son asked if he could walk down to the field level seats to watch warm-ups, and I let him.
Well, this kid somehow managed to convince a security guard that he was supposed to be on the field.
The next thing I saw was my son walking up to Coach Leach and fist bumping him.
“The two started talking, and a few minutes later Coach Leach was calling over a couple of his players.
Now, my son was a center on his YMCA team- Coach Leach had his centers showing my son how to snap the ball!
I was in the upper deck, totally dumbfounded that an SEC coach just spent time in pre-game showing some kid he’d never met how to snap a football.
My kid comes back to our upper deck seats beaming with pride- I saw it as a memory of a lifetime.
“Two years later we went to another game- my son was again in the front row watching warm-ups.
A graduate assistant ran over and yelled, Are you Jackson?’ and my son said, ‘Yes!’
The graduate assistant said, ‘Coach Leach wants to see you,’ and he took my son out on the field.
“Coach Leach asked my son if he’d been practicing, and then made him do several snaps.
Coach told him to keep working on it, gave him a football and sent him on his way.
I was in the stands dumbfounded that a coach remembered my son’s name, remembered that day, and knew what spending five minutes of his time with a kid could mean.”
Thanks, Jeff, for this wonderful story.
I’m asking myself as I write this, “What other college football coach would do such a thing?”, and the answer is, “Pretty much none.”
If anyone wonders why Mike Leach was and is so loved, they need only listen to the story of the coach and 11-year-old Jackson Tyler.
Then we will all understand… 

In a snap.


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Another classic Leach story via Lincoln Riley in his second year as a Tech assistant (by the way, if USC had won last week, half of the CFB playoffs’ head coaches would have been Leach disciples):

The story is about a phone conversation Riley overheard between Leach and somebody:

“He picked it up and said, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ And then he listened for a second and asked, ‘Where ya calling from?’

He kept talking on the phone and I eventually sort of tuned out. Now, a short phone conversation for Coach Leach is an hour. 

So he was talking about this and that, and I was kind of hunkered down working on my own stuff. At some point, the call got dropped. They must have lost reception. Coach said, “Can you hear me? Are you there?”

Then he closed his old-school flip phone, swung it back open and redialed. He said, ‘Hey, sorry I lost you.’ And then they resumed their conversation for another 30 minutes or so before Coach finally hung up.

After he was done, we started talking and I said, ‘Hey Coach, who was that on the phone?’

And he said, ‘Oh, they had the wrong number.'”



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