Mike Leach May be Gone, But Long Live the Pirate!
I have to admit, the first time I met Mike Leach, I was confused, how in the world is this guy the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders? Coach Leach had a demeanor all his own, a Forrest Gump like quality that was more character like than head coach like. But it did not take me long to realize the football genius that was hiding underneath.
Coach Leach was his own man, unapologetically so and he coached football his way no matter what others were doing or might say. Leach turned the Red Raiders into the “air raid” offense that gave powers in the Big 12 like Texas and Texas A&M fits. He turned Texas Tech into a major player and he did it his way. He did the same at Washington State and where he was, Mississippi State. Leach had fun with the media, spinning stories that sometimes made no sense but you listened and were entertained and couldn’t wait to get him back on the podium for more.
He was given the nickname, “The Pirate” and he once joked about starting a Pirate school, He would say “The freshmen, all they get is the bandanna. When you’re a senior, you get the sword and skull and crossbones. For homework, we’ll work pirate maneuvers and stuff like that.” Coach Leach had his share of controversy, when you talk the way he did, it’s hard not to have some. But it’s apparent he was loved. You can see that in the posts and well wishes from coaches and fans all across the country. I didn’t know Coach Leach as much as many others but I will treasure the moments that I had with him. The moments that made me laugh and wonder how a Pirate could be such a football genius. So as we remember Mike Leach the coach and the man, I say, “Long Live the Pirate” you will be missed!