City Leaders, MSU staff reminisce on the good times with Coach Leach

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Mike Leach was known nationwide and left many with fond memories while he was here.

For three years, the City of Starkville and surrounding areas got to see what a true character he could be.

On a gloomy day friends, family and fans woke up to the devastating news of Mississippi State University Head Football Coach Mike Leach’s passing.

While many are coming to grips with the reality, Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill can’t help but think about the good times.

“Coach Leach was a huge part of our community he would be down with dawg talk on Thursday nights every night downtown under the lights in Lafayette. He was out and about in the community in such a way we felt like he was ours even though he hadn’t been with us for very long. he’s had a huge impact on us and we will always remember what he brought to the community,” said Spruill.

Black bows hang on the gates of Davis Wade Stadium, and people placed flowers and some of his favorite snacks at an informal memorial.

Informal is a good way to describe the man too.

MSU staff members like Regina Hyatt reminisced on some of the great conversations she had with him.

“He was quite a character. You hear lots of stories about his stories and he could talk about anything for any length of time he always had something he could relate to about your personal story and that was one of the things that made him most loveable was that he always had a way to connect,” said Hyatt.

And his wit rubbed off on those around him.

MSU Chief of Communications Sid Salter agreed that Coach Leach was truly genuine.

“A conversation with Mike Leach was usually a minimum of a half hour. he liked to share and he was genuinely interested. When he asked somebody how are you he actually cared about the answer. He wanted to know that person’s story,” said Salter.

And even though he was the Head Football Coach Leach cared about all students.

“Coach Leach was very involved with our students. Not just college football players. He called on the famous Maroon Band. went to their practice and had a prolonged visit with them. got up on a ladder, addressed them and thanked them, and told them he appreciated that they were out in the hot sun working to help support the football program,” said Salter.

Although Coach Leach is no longer with us, Mayor Spruill said he will not be forgotten in Starkville.

“He was absolutely a legend. he was a Legend in Football but he was a legend here as well. Starkville is better for having him in our community and we would think that he will always have Starkville here as a home for us and hopefully for his family as well and they will think of Starkville as home,” said Spruill.

Final arrangements for Coach Leach have not been announced.

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