Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach died on Dec. 12, 2022. The coach enjoyed a prolific career at the highest levels. Throughout his career, he was the head coach at Texas Tech, Washington State, and Mississippi State.
Off the field, Mike was married to his wife, Sharon, for 30 years. They built a large family together. The longtime lovers met in college and stayed together through many moves and life changes.
Now, Sharon is mourning her husband’s passing, which was announced the morning of Dec. 13.
Mike Leach’s wife and family spoke publicly about his death.
On Dec. 13, the university shared the very sad news of Mike’s death via Twitter, simply writing, “MSU Bulldog family, college football community mourns the death of Coach Mike Leach.” In a press release, it was revealed that the 61-year-old had died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., with “complications from a heart condition” being cited as the cause.
His wife and family shared a statement about the tragic passing, saying, "Mike was a giving and attentive husband, father, and grandfather. He was able to participate in organ donation at UMMC as a final act of charity.”
The statement went on to say, “We are supported and uplifted by the outpouring of love and prayers from family, friends, Mississippi State University, the hospital staff, and football fans around the world. Thank you for sharing in the joy of our beloved husband and father's life."
Mike Leach’s wife once shared a funny story about their first date.
The former Mississippi State coach and his wife Sharon met in college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, per The Teal Mango. The couple told The Seattle Times in 2012 that they started out as friends who watched TV together on Sharon’s sofa. Their first date happened spontaneously, with Sharon recounting, “It wasn’t until he got hungry one night when he said, ‘Hey, let’s go get something to eat.’”
The rest was history, with Sharon also sharing what drew her to Mike. “I kind of liked the idea that he had a plan and he was working toward that goal. And he never lacked any confidence. He felt like he could do anything as good as the next guy, or better,” she said.
Sharon worked as an administrative assistant and legal secretary for over a decade, then turned her focus to raising the couple’s four kids, per HITC. The family followed Mike as he coached in Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia, and Iowa. Sharon has said that she’s made peace with the fact that her husband’s life revolved around coaching.
Mike and Sharon Leach shared four kids.
The couple of 30 years welcomed three daughters and a son over the course of their marriage and Mike’s esteemed college football coaching career. Their oldest daughter Janeen attended BYU just like her parents, per The Focus. Kiersten, Kim, and Cody round out the family.
Mike and Sharon also have three grandchildren. Two of his kids were reportedly by his side at the hospital as of Dec. 12 with the others en-route. At time of writing, we don't know how many of the kids were able to say goodbye to their father before his untimely passing.
We send our condolences to the Leach family as well as Mike's colleagues, players, and fans as they grieve the coaching legend, husband, father, and grandfather.