Crowds gather at Humphrey Coliseum to say final goodbye

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Mike Leach’s death sent shockwaves across the Sports world.

Today, he was remembered in front of fans, friends, and family at Humphrey Coliseum.

WCBI’s Desmone Mathews attended the service and listened to the stories visitors had to share.

After spending all morning and a good portion of the afternoon on Mississippi State’s campus, I had the pleasure of talking to many fans of Mike Leach and they all agree that he will be missed and his time here on earth left a wonderful impact.

Mississippi State’s former head coach, Mike Leach, was known for coaching on the sidelines and his entertaining soundbites before, after, and sometimes during the games.

His death took many in the sports world by surprise.

On Tuesday, Leach was remembered for all that he’s meant to college football, Mississippi State, and those fans.

Mike Leach’s impact went further than just the football field. Hundreds of people from all over the country came to Humphrey Coliseum to celebrate his life and legacy

“I’d heard stories that he was a well-rounded individual and I like that because that means he didn’t necessarily live and breathe football,” said Melody Bigham, an MSU fan.

“The conference needed a Mike Leach type of personality in the fraternity and I became a big fan of Mike before he came to Mississippi State, but when he came to Mississippi State, every Sunday morning during football season I’d get up and have my coffee and watch the press conference,” said Robert McConnell, Mike Leach fan.

Former and current players of Leach as well as colleagues and friends told stories about what he meant to them.

For Lisa Jones, she didn’t know much about Coach Leach but her son played for Leach at Texas Tech. She said she and her son couldn’t miss the opportunity to be in his presence one more time

“He thought he was the greatest coach of all time and he’s told me so many stories on the drive down He’s just been really torn up, he lost his dad a month to the day that coach Leach died so he lost two really impactful people to him so it was just important for us to come pay our respects,” said Jones.

Leach’s impact spread beyond Starkville while he was here.

Former West Point Mayor Robbie Robinson said his first encounter with coach Leach was one he’d never forget.

“I never knew he was so personable a lot of people call it inquisitive He came right over to me and my grandson and started talking to us asking us all about West Point, what kind of town it was, he loved it he liked what it looked like and wondered what it’s like to live there and he took my grandson and said why don’t we take a picture,” said Robinson.

Leach finished his time at Mississippi State with a winning record of 19 and 17.

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