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College football world reacts to the death of Mississippi State coach Mike Leach

The college football world is mourning the loss of Mississippi State coach and college football legend Mike Leach.

The third-year Bulldogs coach died on Monday night following complications from a heart condition at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He was 61.

Several notable college football figures and coaches, including SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and the National Football Foundation, shared their emotions and offered thoughts and prayers to the Leach family and Bulldogs community.

"It is a sad day and a brief statement does not fully capture the emotions and sense of loss present following Mike’s death," Sankey wrote via Twitter. "Leading as a coach is a unique role and Mike did it in his own unique way. Our deepest condolences to Sharon, the Leach family, and Mike’s many friends."

The NFF also reflected on Leach's impact on college football with his unique personality and perspective. NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell highlighted Leach's sense of humor and intelligence in a statement Tuesday morning.

"Coach Leach always had time for us and what we were trying to do at the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame," Hatchell said. "His sense of humor was crafty, and he was incredibly smart. He was always inventive and his teams were really fun to watch. We will miss his friendship and insightful perspective on the issues of the day. He left us way too soon, and his untimely passing has made for an incredibly sad day for college football."

More:Inside the mind of Mississippi State's Mike Leach, and a legacy that will live on | Krajisnik

More:How Mike Leach's Mississippi State football players are reacting to his death

Auburn athletics director John Cohen, who was responsible for hiring Leach at Mississippi State, also released a statement reflecting on the legendary coach's character.

Among the various SEC football coaches, Leach was someone who developed long-lasting relationships despite sometimes going off on hilarious tangents. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin shared his emotions on the loss and his admiration for the college football legend.

"I truly loved coach Leach every minute I shared with him," Kiffin said in a statement. "I have been able to work with several of his former players and coaches and they have told so many amazing stories about the impact he had on their lives. Going back to our years together in the Pac-12, I have always felt tremendous respect and admiration for coach, his unique personality and his innovative mind, and I can't imagine college football without him. I'm grateful to be part of his final win, hug him, and watch him walk off like the winner he is. I know god is welcoming home the Pirate now."

Alabama football coach Nick Saban also shared his thoughts on Leach's death Tuesday, reflecting on his memories and crediting Leach's strong leadership.

"Mike Leach was a friend, and we are deeply saddened by his unexpected passing," Alabama football released 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."

Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel, who was starting quarterback for Oklahoma during Leach's brief stint as the Sooners' offensive coordinator, also reflected on Leach's impact and their friendship throughout his career in college football.

"I am heartbroken on the passing of Coach Leach,"Heupel said in a statement. "In 1999, he gave a kid out of Snow College in Utah a shot at major college football. He saw something in me when no one else did. Like so many across our sport, I am grateful for Coach Leach's impact on my life both personally and professionally. His offensive philosophy and vision were ahead of his time, and they continue to shape the game today. Off the field, he was a one of a kind—an incredible storyteller, a man of wisdom and someone who always cared about his former players and coaches. I enjoyed our friendship over the years. My deepest condolences go out to Leach's family, his wife Sharon, his grandkids and the entire Mississippi State football program."

Schools where Leach previously coached also shared in mourning his loss and honoring his memory. Texas Tech football, where leach served as a coach for a decade, shared a memorial clip of some of Leach's best moments with the Red Raiders including his brief appearance on "Friday Night Lights."

Washington State, where Leach served as the Cougars' football coach for eight seasons before going to MSU, also released a statement sending condolences to Leach family:

"Forever a Coug. All of us in Coug Nation mourn the passing of Coach Mike Leach. We send our sincerest condolences to his wife Sharon and the entire Leach family."

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: College football world reacts to Mike Leach death