STARKVILLE, Miss. — Horrific news coming out of Mississippi as Mississippi State coach Mike Leach was hospitalized Sunday after what the university called “a personal health issue” that happened at his home in Starkville.
Rumors are flying around that the coach has suffered a major stroke or heart attack from multiple sports pundits, but out of respect for the family we will refrain from putting any of that information out until we receive an official statement from them.
The 61-year-old Leach was initially treated at a local hospital before being airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, which is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) away from Mississippi State, the university said.
UMMC spokesman Marc Rolph said Leach was listed as a patient at the hospital, but had no information regarding the coach’s condition.
The school said in a statement it would have no further comment on Leach’s condition, adding “that the thoughts and prayers of the university are with Mike and (wife) Sharon and their family.”
“Prayers for Coach Leach and family. We’re all on the same team tonight,” Mississippi athletic director Keith Carter posted on Twitter.
Defensive coordinator Zach Arnett has been placed in charge of the football team by Mississippi State President Mark Keenum and interim athletic director Bracky Brett as it prepares for an appearance in the ReliaQuest Bowl against Illinois on Jan. 2 in Tampa, Florida.
Leach is in his third season at Mississippi State, with a 19-17 record. He acknowledged a bout with pneumonia late in the season that was causing a persistent cough.
Leach, known for his prolific Air Raid offenses, is 158-107 in 21 seasons as a head coach at Texas Tech, Washington State and Mississippi State.
All of us at The DC Patriot send our prayers and thoughts to the family of Mike Leach. Fight Coach Fight!