December 13, 2022

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Kit Strief, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

VSU Mourns the Loss of Former Blazer Football Assistant Coach Mike Leach


Mike Leach came to Valdosta State University Athletics in 1992 to work with newly hired Blazer Football head coach Hal Mumme; the duo had been at Iowa Wesleyan College where they set numerous offensive records.

Leach served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1992 to 1993. He then served as offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, and quaterbacks coach from 1994 to 1996. 

Leach and Mumme brought the "Air Raid" offense with them to Valdosta, as they helped lead VSU to its first appearances in the NCAA Division II football playoffs in 1994 and 1996.  
While at VSU, Leach helped the Blazers finish third nationally in passing at 349.3 yards per game and 15th in total offense at 425 yards per game in 1995. VSU led the Gulf South Conference in both categories and was third in scoring offense at 26 points per game.

The 1996 season was a year to remember as VSU won its first football league title, finishing 10-3 overall and 6-2 in Gulf South Conference play. 

Leach, a two-time National Coach of the Year, was in his third year at Mississippi State when he reportedly died Monday, Dec. 12, from heart condition complications. He was 61. His full coaching biography may be found at