Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach had a massive heart attack on Sunday in Starkville and was transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where he is still being cared for on Monday.
According to multiple sources, Leach, 61, collapsed at his home in Starkville, but did not receive medical attention for between 10 to 15 minutes. EMTs used a defibrillator machine and delivered multiple shocks to restore normal heart rhythm.
After he was stabilized at Oktibbeha County Hospital, he was transported by helicopter to UMMC.
Sources said two of four his children are already in Jackson with the other two en route.
It appears, according to sources, that Leach may have suffered seizures with the possibility of brain damage. Sources said the situation is dire.
leach is in his third season with the Bulldogs and guided Mississippi State to a 24-22 victory over Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl on Nov. 24. He is 19-17 in three seasons with the Bulldogs.
Defensive coordinator Zach Arnett is “in charge of the MSU football team” until Leach’s return, school president Mark E. Keenum and interim athletic director Bracky Brett said.
After the regular season, Leach told ESPN He had battled pneumonia throughout the season but was feeling better.
Sid Salter, chief communication officer at Mississippi State, told WLBT that any rumors suggesting the death of Leach “should be ignored.”
“Coach Leach is a fighter, and he is battling,” Salter told the TV station.
The Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4 SEC) will face Illinois (8-4, 5-4 Big 10) in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 2 (11 am, ESPN) in Tampa, Florida.
Prior to coming to Mississippi State, Leach was the head coach at Washington State from 2012 to 2019. He compiled a 55-47 record in Pullman. The Cougars went 6-7 in 2019 after an 11-2 season in 2018, which marked the most wins in program history in former Brandon High School standout Gardner Minshew was his quarterback.
Leach replaced joe moorhead, who was fired after two seasons in Starkville. Moorhead went 14-12 at Mississippi State.
Leach has an overall record of 158-107 in head coaching stops at MSU, Texas Tech and Washington State. Leach brought Texas Tech and Washington State programs to unprecedented heights. He also led Tech to its only 11-win season in program history in 2008.
Well known for his air-raid offensive system, Leach has coached some of the best offenses in college football over the last two decades. His quarterback in 2019 at Washington State, Anthony Gordon, led the country in passing yards per game.
Gordon threw for 429.2 yards per game. The second man on that list was 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, who passed for 372 yards per game. Gordon also tossed 48 touchdown passes this season, second behind only Burrow’s 55.
Leach is known for his comedic antics in press conferences, such as discussing which Pac 12 mascot would win in a melee. He’s one of the most recognizable faces and voices in college football.
Leach was controversially fired from Texas Tech for legal cause in 2009 for an incident involving a player who sustained a concussion on Dec. 16 of that year. The player was Adam James, son of former SMU standout running back Craig James.
According to USA Today Sportsthe elder James told then-Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance in an e-mail that his son was punished by Leach for sustaining the injury and that he was locked in a closet for hours while the rest of the team carried on with daily routines in preparation for the Alamo Bowl, which was to be played two weeks later.
Leach adamantly denied the allegations, but he was suspended by the university on Dec. 28. He was fired on Dec. 30.
Leach’s first public comments after his termination came in an interview with the New York Times that was released on Jan. 1, 2010. In the interview, Leach denied that he had mistreated James. He said he ordered James to be taken “out of the light.”
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Mike Leach suffers heart attack, situation dire for Mississippi State coach