Washington State to honor late Mike Leach against Wisconsin
Washington State plans to honor Mike Leach ahead of and during Saturday’s home opener against No. 19 Wisconsin.
Leach, the longtime Cougar head coach, passed away in December of last year.
The Cougars will hold a t-shirt giveaway for students, who will get shirts with a Washington State logo atop a pirate — a nod to Leach’s “swing your sword” mantra and his moniker, “The Pirate.” Washington State coaches will also wear the shirts in some capacity. Players and coaches will take the field with flags honoring Leach as well.
“I think there’ll be a lot of tributes as we go throughout the week,” Dickert said Monday.
According to The Spokesman Review’s Greg Woods, the shirts will not be made available to the public for sale. Dickert wore the shirt to his Monday presser.
Jake Dickert’s players might call his shirt “drip” pic.twitter.com/X51CGNrM8Z
— Greg Woods (@GregWWoods) September 4, 2023
Dickert says he never got to know Leach personally. But he has talked to enough who did to know that Leach, in his eight years in Pullman, made a lasting impact on the program.
“No one talks about games,” Dickert said. “They talk about stories. They talk about his presence. They talk about toughness. They talk about him being hard on them but also seeing it through. They talk about his compassion for people. They talk about his quirkiness of being late, and funny things he would give you guys. But his legacy on football, he’s touched so many people.”
Leach fathered the Air Raid. His coaching tree spreads throughout the sport — from Lincoln Riley at USC to Kliff Kingsbury and Sonny Dykes. He’s the all-time winningest coach at Texas Tech and led Washington State to its first-ever 11-win season.
In January of 2020, Leach took over at Mississippi State. In three seasons, he went 19-17 with the Bulldogs. Overall, Leach posted a 158-107 record as a head coach.
“Just listening to those stories, if people talk about me that way when I’m done coaching, I’ve been successful,” Dickert said.
Wazzu hosts Wisconsin at 4:30 p.m. PT on ABC.