Mississippi State coach Mike Leach hospitalized in ‘critical condition’ with ‘personal health issue’


Mississippi State Coach Mike Leach, 61, was taken from his home to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson on Sunday following a “personal health issue.” He was considered in “critical condition” on Monday, according to MSU.

“Mike’s family is with him and greatly appreciates the love and support for the coach, but their family’s privacy must be respected at this time,” the school said in a statement Monday.

Leach was last Saturday in preparation for Mississippi State’s ReliaQuest Bowl and leading the evening’s holiday party. With Leach hospitalized, defensive coordinator Zach Arnett has been promoted to interim coach of the Bulldogs.

Hailed as the architect of the innovative and accomplished “Air Raid” offense along with Hall Mummy, Leach has won numerous national and conference coaching awards along with a pair of Power Five division titles during his 21-year head coaching career.

His coaching tree of former assistants and players spans the entire college football landscape. These include USC coach Lincoln Riley and Houston coach Dana Holkorsen, as well as current Arizona Cardinals coach and former Red Raiders quarterback Kliff Kingsbury.

Several coaches — including others not in Leach’s coaching tree — sent their best wishes to Leach and his family via Twitter.

“Prayers for my good friend Mike Leach. Keep Coach and his family in your prayers,” Riley wrote.

“My thoughts are with my mentor, my colleague and, most importantly, my friend Mike Leach. While I am devastated by today’s news, I know that Mike is a fighter with an incredible spirit and will continue to fight. Prayers for Sharon and Their family,” Holgorsen said.

No. 22 Mississippi State finished the season 8-4 with a win over rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night. This is Jan. 2 earned the team a spot in the ReliaQuest Bowl against Illinois in Tampa.

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