Miss. St. honors Leach with pirate flag on helmet

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Mississippi State unveiled a special helmet design, which feature a pirate flag on the side, to honor late coach Mike Leach during the school's bowl game Monday.

Mississippi State honors Mike Leach with pirate flag on helmet play Texas Tech takes intentional delay of game in tribute to Mike Leach (0:34) Texas Tech intentionally takes a delay of game on its first play as a tribute to former head coach Mike Leach. (0:34) 10:53 AM ET Alex ScarboroughESPN Staff Writer Close Covers the SEC. Joined ESPN in 2012. Graduate of Auburn University. Mississippi State will set aside its traditional school logos in order to honor former coach Mike Leach during Monday's ReliaQuest Bowl against Illinois. The Bulldogs unveiled a special helmet design , which feature a pirate's flag on the side, on Monday morning. Leach, who was nicknamed The Pirate, died on Dec. 12 from a heart condition. He was 61. Leach coached three seasons at Mississippi State. He had two previous stops as a head coach at Texas Tech (2000-09) and Washington State (2012-19). He won AFCA national coach of the year in 2018. His 158 career wins were the fifth-most among active FBS coaches this season. But his legacy went far beyond wins and losses. His coaching tree spread far and wide, including Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, TCU coach Sonny Dykes, USC coach Lincoln Riley, Baylor coach Dave Aranda, Houston coach Dana Holgorsen, North Texas coach Seth Littrell and Nevada coach Ken Wilson. Editor's Picks Dykes, TCU honor Leach with pirate flag sticker 3d Dave Wilson Leach celebrated as one-of-a-kind coach, mentor 13d Alex Scarborough 1 Related Many schools competing in bowl games this season, including some who had no direct connections to Leach, made use of helmet stickers to pay tribute to the coach who helped revolutionize the game by spreading the popularity of the Air Raid offense. As a nod to its former coach, Texas Tech lined up in the Air Raid formation -- four receivers, one tailback and wide splits among the offensive linemen -- at the beginning of its game against Ole Miss. Last month, many current and former FBS coaches travelled to Starkville, Mississippi, on signing day for Leach's memorial service. Dykes, a Leach disciple whose Horned Frogs were preparing to play in the College Football Playoff, made the trip as well. His team wore a pirate flag sticker on their helmets when it beat Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday.