Before Mike Leach's plane touched down in Starkville, a pirate flag was spotted across Mississippi State University Athletics’ social media accounts, christening this new era of MSU football.
Leach is no stranger to head coaching as he coached at Washington State University and led them to six bowl game appearances. He is known for having goofy personality, a pirate figurine in his office and for teaching a special course about insurgent warfare and football.
MSU's Director of Athletics John Cohen said, after conducting a national search the 34th head coach of MSU football, Leach is a proven winner. He has a clear winning record, with seven seasons having nine wins or more.
"An offensive genius and two-time national coach of the year, he has a track record of building programs to national prominence with accountability and a blue-collar approach," Cohen said. "We are thrilled to welcome him and his family to the Mississippi State family and look forward to watching our football program grow under his leadership.”
President Mark E. Keenum thanked Cohen for the effort he made in this search. The search lasted one week after Joe Moorhead was relieved of his duties as head coach at MSU.
“In Coach Mike Leach, that search produced a charismatic leader who has proven he can both win football games at a high level," Keenum said, "and motivate teams to play up to their potential. I’m excited about the future of our football program.”
Leach met fans at the airfield in Starkville and will be introduced at a press conference today at 12 p.m.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be the head football coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs,” Leach said.