A SEC Network graphic tribute for Mike Leach. A SEC Network graphic tribute for Mike Leach. (ESPN Press Room.)

After Mississippi State Bulldogs’ head coach Mike Leach’s passing at 61 Tuesday morning (in the wake of days in the hospital), ESPN’s SEC Network has put together a tribute special for him. The network announced that they’ll air an hour-long tribute to Leach Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern. That special will also be available through the ESPN app and as an audio simulcast on SiriusXM channel 374:

Here are some further details from that release on both the special and SEC Network’s other coverage of Leach’s passing Tuesday:

Following the passing of Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach, SEC Network will televise Remembering Mike Leach at 2 p.m. ET, an hour-long tribute show paying homage to the college football icon. The show will also stream live on the ESPN App and will be simulcast on Sirius XM channel 374.

In addition to this afternoon’s tribute show, SEC Now will be live beginning at 11 a.m. until the start of Remembering Mike Leach. SEC Network anchors Dari Nowkhah and Alyssa Lang will host throughout the day, joined by various contributors sharing their memories and perspective about Leach and the impact he had on so many.

Leach was in his third season as the coach of the Bulldogs. He previously spent time as a head coach with the Washington State Cougars (2012-19) and Texas Tech Red Raiders (2000-09), and was an innovative assistant before then. Along with others including Hal Mumme, Leach was a key figure in the development of the Air Raid offense and its now almost-omnipresent concepts, as Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press explored in a feature this summer:

As is often the case with Leach, his assessment of the pioneering, pass-centric scheme he helped hone into a record-breaking tour de force is a bit over the top but not without merit.

“Well, three of the last four teams that won the Super Bowl have run it so I guess it’s doing pretty good,” the 61-year-old head coach said.

…The Air Raid is more a process than a playbook these days. Keeping things simple, stressing execution over matchups and seemingly endless repetition of a relatively small number of plays in practice are what links the Air Raid’s past and present.

“That really to me is the genius of Hal (Mumme) and Mike Leach and what they’ve done is they have a system of teaching and practicing that allows the players to improve at a high level,” said Colorado State coach Jay Norvell, whose quarterbacks coach is Matt Mumme, Hal’s son.

Chris Brown of Smart Football has also done a lot of writing on the Air Raid and its history, and his 2012 piece on that remains best in show. Brown also has a nice Twitter thread in tribute to Leach, starting with this tweet:

“Incredibly momentous for football that Mike Leach has passed away. It is no understatement whatsoever to say that Leach fundamentally changed football forever, and I am not sure there was any more influential coach in the last 40 years, when you include high school and college.”

Leach certainly had an incredible impact on the football world. And it’s good that SEC Network is paying tribute to him with this special.

[ESPN Press Room]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.