Mississippi State honors late coach Mike Leach with ‘Pirate’ helmet decal

Jan 2, 2023, 9:27 AM | Updated: 9:34 am

The 2023 ReliaQuest Bowl — formerly known as the Outback Bowl — will be paying tribute to a fallen coach on Monday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.

No. 22 Mississippi State will be honoring the late Mike Leach with a pirate decal featuring the initials “ML” on its helmets when the Bulldogs take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Leach’s nickname was “Pirate.”

Leach, who died at the age of 61 on Dec. 13, gave one of the greatest contributions to the game of college football by being an innovator of the Air Raid offense.

One of his disciples and former quarterback at Texas Tech from 1998-2002 was current Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

β€œI don’t think he ever realized how big a figure he was in college football,” Kingsbury told reporters on Dec. 13. β€œI wish he could have seen the outpouring because I don’t think it ever hit him like that.”

The No. 10 USC Trojans will also be paying tribute to Leach with a “ML” decal on the back of their helmets when they take on the No. 16 Tulane Green Wave in the 2023 Cotton Bowl.

USC head coach Lincoln Riley backed up Kingsbury at Texas Tech in 2002 before serving as an assistant coach under Leach from 2003-09.

β€œThere’s a bunch of (memories), but you would learn a lot about life — probably 50-50 life and football in his meetings,” Kingsbury said. β€œAnd he always thought everybody was open. … That was kind of his beauty, he truly thought that his offense was unstoppable.

“He made you believe in yourself more so than you did. … Everywhere he’s gone he’s won. There’s a method to the madness and it just was an honor to call him a friend.”

Threads Blog

(Twitter Photo/Reno Aces)...

Arizona Sports

AAUGH! D-backs’ Triple-A Reno rocks Peanuts-inspired uniforms

The Reno Aces wore Peanuts-inspired uniforms during their game on Saturday night to celebrate the beloved comic strip.

11 days ago

Kyler Murray...

Jake Anderson

New kicks, who dis? Nike drops new Kyler Murray-inspired all-pink cleats

Nike on Friday released the latest edition of the Vapor Edge Pro 360 2 cleats in honor of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

12 days ago

(Cincinnati Reds Twitter photo)...

Wills Rice

Cincinnati Reds release new Nike City Connect uniforms and logo

The Cincinnati Reds are the newest team to receive and unveil their City Connect jerseys on Saturday from Nike.

18 days ago

Chris Paul Suns-Nuggets pregame fit...

Haboob Blog

Charles Barkley predicts big Chris Paul game because of his pregame fit

Charles Barkley's analysis said Chris Paul was set to have a big game because of his Russell Westbrook-esque fit.

1 month ago

Kevin Durant dons a Nike hoodie...

Kevin Zimmerman

Kevin Durant signs lifetime contract with Nike

Kevin Durant and Nike have agreed to a lifetime contract agreement, the Phoenix Suns star announced on Boardroom.

1 month ago

Zay Flowers NFL Draft...

Jake Anderson

NFL Draft prospects flash their style at 2023 edition in Kansas City

Another year, another NFL Draft full of young fashionistas. At the 2023 edition in Kansas City, the 17 prospects hit the red carpet dressed in their best for Thursday night's first round.

1 month ago

Mississippi State honors late coach Mike Leach with ‘Pirate’ helmet decal