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Mississippi State University
Gardner Minshew spoke from the heart as he addressed the crowd at college football legend Mike Leach‘s memorial service on Tuesday … even dropping an f-bomb as he remembered his former coach.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was excused from team practice so he could attend the ceremony … and the former Washington State star expressed how much Leach meant to him during their time together in 2018 while at the podium at Humphrey Coliseum.
“He touched so many lives, impacted so many people,” Minshew said. “I know how much he impacted mine and I was really just with him for about six months.”
“To say playing for Mike Leach … that was a dream really doesn’t cover it. He was my favorite coach long before I ever met him.”
Gardner said Leach was a different type of coach … and dropped an expletive to get his point across.
“He had confidence — it was part confidence, part just really not giving a f*** what people thought,” Minshew said.
As the Mike Leach memorial begins, a familiar and fitting tune plays over the scene: Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
Those close to Leach often compare his life to the lyrics. He did it his way. pic.twitter.com/gxxrpXpIjZ
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 20, 2022
“It was awesome, man. It was contagious. Made you so feel good when you were with him. Felt like you can do anything.”
It worked for Minshew … ’cause he won the 2018 Alamo Bowl under Leach, was a Heisman Trophy candidate, was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award that season.
“There was no façade, ego or front. It was all just him.”
Minshew — who will be taking over for injured Jalen Hurts on Saturday if the Eagles starter can’t play against the Cowboys — was one of the many former players and coaches who spoke at Leach’s memorial.
Lincoln Riley, Bob Stoops, former Washington receiver Gabe Marks, and Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers also expressed their love for Coach Leach … who passed away last week at 61.