Mike Leach, the head coach of Mississippi State University’s football team, has passed on at the age of 61.
Leach had been admitted to hospital on Sunday for what the school called a “personal health matter.”
He fell ill at his home in Starkville, Mississippi, near the university. He was treated at a local hospital before being airlifted to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) away.
He died on Monday night following complications from a heart condition, the school said Tuesday.
“Mike was a giving and attentive husband, father and grandfather. He was able to participate in organ donation at UMMC as a final act of charity. We are supported and uplifted by the outpouring of love and prayers from family, friends, Mississippi State University, the hospital staff, and football fans around the world,” the family said in a statement. “Thank you for sharing in the joy of our beloved husband and father’s life.”
Leach received a number of coaching accolades over his career, including winning the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2008 and twice being named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2015 and 2018).
“It’s hard to put into words the impact that Mike Leach had on the players he coached, the game of football and me personally,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes posted on Twitter. “He was a unique personality and independent thinker and a great friend. No one had a greater influence on my life other than my father.”