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Tuesday will be filled with the memory of departed Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, whose memorial is being held at Humphrey Coliseum.
Leach passed away last Monday (Dec. 12) due to complications from a heart condition. His impact reverberated throughout football, with ex-players and fans paying tribute to the eccentric and masterminded HC.
(Stay Tuned As OutKick’s Glenn Guilbeau Recaps The Mike Leach Memorial)
In attendance at Leach’s memorial was Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew, who may very well be starting for the NFC-best team this week after starter Jalen Hurts suffered a shoulder sprain.
The coach and Eagles play-caller were close during their time at Washington State: bonding over feats like a 2018 Alamo Bowl win over Iowa State and a mutual love over the great Burt Reynolds.
Minshew skipped the Eagles’ walk-through on Tuesday to attend the memorial and delivered a heartfelt homage on the podium.
“He touched so many lives, impacted so many people,” Minshew said at the memorial. “I know how much he impacted mine, and I was really just with him for about six months.
“To say playing for Mike Leach … that was a dream really doesn’t cover it. He was my favorite coach long before I ever met him.”
Minshew Remembers Coach Leach
Like Leach, Minshew added levity to his words — dropping a casual F-bomb at the memorial to capture Leach’s cavalier attitude.
“He had confidence — it was part confidence, part just really not giving a f**k what people thought,” he said.
“It was awesome, man. It was contagious. Made you so feel good when you were with him. Felt like you can do anything. … There was no façade, ego or front. It was all just him.”
Leach’s memorial was ripe with the idiosyncrasies that made Coach Leach stand out. Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played over the tearful crowds in attendance as a reminder that the late coach was never interested in the conventional, acceptable or terribly dull.
The 26-year-old QB played one year of college ball under Leach after transferring to Washington State for the 2018 season.
As relayed by OutKick’s David Hookstead, Minshew valued Leach’s tutelage and credited that experience for the professional career he’s gone on to enjoy.
Simply put, without Leach, there would not have been a MinshewMania.
Days earlier, Minshew delivered an emotional remembrance of the pirate-loving, offensively gifted Leach.
“He always made me believe that and feel that I was special and that I could succeed. Man, that means so much to me, and I’ll always be grateful for that,” Minshew shared with the Philly media.
Rest in Peace, Coach.