Miami (OH) honors ‘The Pirate’ Mike Leach in the Bahamas Bowl

Mike Leach, Mississippi State Bulldogs. (The Montgomery Advertiser)
Mike Leach, Mississippi State Bulldogs. (The Montgomery Advertiser) /

The Miami RedHawks honored late Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach during the Bahamas Bowl vs. the UAB Blazers.

Bowl season may have finally arrived, but the college football world remains in mourning over the tragic loss of Mike Leach.

The former Mississippi State head coach passed away on Monday at the age of 61 after suffering a massive heart attack. Coach Leach won everywhere he went, oftentimes in the most challenging of situations. So it came as no surprise that a team like the Miami RedHawks would pay tribute to The Pirate during their bowl game vs. the UAB Blazers in the Bahamas. His spirit is alive inside us.

Miami rocked a MAC crossbones decal on the back of its helmets, showing its love of Coach Leach.

RedHawks head coach Chuck Martin also wore a red sweater vest with a Jolly Roger emblem stitched right over his heart, as well as on his shirtsleeve.

Miami is also starting the hashtag of #FlyTheFlag, which will be used throughout bowl season.

Miami (OH) pays tribute to the fallen Pirate, Mike Leach during its bowl game

Of all the touching tributes we have seen over the last few days for Coach Leach, perhaps what means the most is the admiration and respect he had from his coaching peers. Whether that be from one of his Air Raid disciples like Dana Holgorsen (Houston), one of his fiercest competitors like Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss) or other coaches like Martin, the impact Leach had on them was huge.

With 41 other bowl games left to be played, we are surely going to see dozens of FBS programs honor The Spirit of The Pirate. His one-of-a-kind coaching career took him all over this great country of ours, elevating the lives of so many in the process. Coach Leach’s legacy will forever shape the sport that we love. He was 100 percent what college football was all about in the end.

Overall, we are blessed to have bowl season to help us honor the life of such a transcendent head coach. Leach may not have coached at many places where contending for national championships were a realistic venture. However, he made every situation he went into better because of the work he put in and the culture he instilled. He never made it about himself, only the teams he led.

May we fly the Jolly Rogers proudly, as we continue to celebrate the life and legacy of Mike Leach.

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