MSU’s Mike Leach, pioneering football coach, dies at 61

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The Associated Press

Mike Leach, the gruff, pioneering and unfiltered college football coach who helped revolutionize the passing game with the Air Raid offense, has died following complications from a heart condition, Mississippi State said Tuesday. He was 61.

Leach, who was in his third season as head coach at Mississippi State, fell ill Sunday at his home in Starkville, Mississippi. He was treated at a local hospital before being airlifted to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, about 120 miles away.

Leach fought through a bout with pneumonia late in this season, coughing uncontrollably at times during news conferences, but seemed to be improving, according to those who worked with him.

News of him falling gravely ill swept through college football the past few days and left many who knew him stunned, hoping and praying for Leach’s recovery under grim circumstances.

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