Mike Leach, a true innovator in college football and an esteemed practitioner of the Air Raid offense, is dead at 61.
You’ll no doubt read many remembrances and anecdotes concerning Leach over the next few days, but here are a few of his connections to the Packers.
Over his career as a college offensive coordinator and head coach, Leach influenced a number of players who ended up in Green Bay. Though their Packers’ careers are not terribly noteworthy, quarterbacks Tim Couch and Graham Harrell benefitted from Leach’s instruction at Kentucky and Texas Tech, respectively. Offensive lineman Cole Madison played under Leach at Washington State, and it was a conflict with Leach at Mississippi State that drove now-former Packers running back Kylin Hill to the NFL.
The Packers also had some influence on Leach, albeit small. When he coached under the great Air Raid innovator Hal Mumme, Leach was part of a contingent of coaches that traveled to Green Bay to learn what they could from Lindy Infante. Infante imparted what he knew of the “Smash” concept to Mumme and Leach, and it would eventually become a staple of the Air Raid offense.
Leach’s effect on football is profound, and I think he’ll rightly be remembered as a true giant of the sport, his influence extending well beyond his many coaching stops.
Leach was 158-107 in his career as a head coach.
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