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Nick Saban releases statement on Mike Leach passing

Nick Saban and Mike Leach shake hands in pregame

Nick Saban released a statement after Mississippi State announced its head football coach Mike Leach passed away Tuesday.

“Mike Leach was a friend, and we are deeply saddened by his unexpected passing,” Saban said in a statement. “I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Mike over the last several years. I never knew quite where our conversations were going, but they always made me smile. He was an offensive innovator who always did things his way and was admired for it. His teams were well-coached and extremely challenging to defend. They played with poise and toughness, which is a credit to his leadership. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sharon, their children and the entire Mississippi State family.”

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