Texas Tech will posthumously induct former coach Mike Leach into the Red Raiders' Hall of Honor, the athletic department announced Wednesday. Leach led the team from 2000-09 and is the winningest coach in program history. He is among seven individuals set to be honored this September as part of the 2023 class. Leach 2022 at age 61.
Widely known for popularizing the Air Raid offense in college football, Leach posted an 84-43 mark in 10 seasons at the helm in Lubbock, Texas. His 11 wins in 2008 tied a program record.
Leach's time at Texas Tech came to an abrupt end in 2009 when he was fired following an investigation into the alleged mistreatment of a player. (Until his death, Leach maintained Washington State in 2012 where guided the Cougars to a 55-47 mark in eight seasons. Leach's final coaching stop came at Mississippi State, where the Bulldogs were 19-17 in three seasons under his watch. He died before the Bulldogs' bowl game in 2022.for his work from 2009 despite being fired for cause.) He returned as a Power Five coach at
Leach boasted a 158-107 career coaching record and won three separate national coaching awards.
Leach's induction into the university's Hall of Honor comes amid questions surrounding his eligibility for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in the wake of his death. Candidates for induction must coach for at least 10 years, win at least 100 games and post a .600 career winning percentage. Though Leach falls short in the third category, NFF chairman Archie Manning previouslythat it "won't be a problem" for his eventual candidacy.
Kliff Kingsbury will also be honored
Also included in Texas Tech's 2023 class of honorees is former Red Raider quarterback and coach Kliff Kingsbury, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for his playing career.
Kingsbury, 43, played quarterback for the Red Raiders from 1999-2002. Commanding Leach's Air Raid attack, he passed for more than 12,000 yards during his Texas Tech career, including a 5,000-yard passing campaign in his senior season. He returned to Texas Tech as coach in time for the 2013 season.
Kingsbury's coaching tenure at Lubbock began with an 8-5 season in 2013, but he was never able to replicate that success. He was ultimately fired in 2018 after posting a 35-39 mark in six seasons. The Red Raiders only reached a bowl game three times and posted a 1-2 postseason mark, that despite a roster that included future two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Texas Tech's Hall of Fame is designated for former Red Raider athletes, while the Hall of Honor is reserved for "non-athletes who have provided outstanding contributions" to the athletic department.