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Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss’ chancellor issue statements in wake of Mike Leach’s passing

RIP Pirate

NCAA Football: East Tennessee State at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The college football world is a sad place today with the news of the death of Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach.

Leach, 61, passed away due to complications from a heart related incident at his home beginning over the weekend. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin tweeted a message today saying “God is welcoming the pirate home now.”

Eerily, Kiffin has spoken repeatedly about his good relationship with Leach and how coaches in the SEC have to present a hatred for other teams or coaches, and now here we are with the final game Leach coached being against Kiffin and the Rebels.

Ole Miss chancellor Glenn F. Boyce issued a statement via Twitter regarding the news.

All the silliness of rivalries goes to the wayside in moments of real life like this. Coach Leach provided a bevy of quotes over many press conferences during his career and unlike many in his profession remained true to himself. He compiled a winning record in places where a lot of coaches would never dare to try and build programs because of the perceived disadvantages against power programs.

But he almost always seemed to find a way to build a winning team even when fans or the media counted him out.

It is truly a showing of how fragile life can be to know Leach was on the sidelines coaching his team only a few weeks ago, and now he is no longer with us. The Cup staff sends thoughts and prayers to the MSU community.