Mississippi State University football head coach Mike Leach passed away on Monday following complications from a heart condition, the university announced.

The university said in a statement, "Mike was a giving and attentive husband, father and grandfather. He was able to participate in organ donation at UMMC as a final act of charity. We are supported and uplifted by the outpouring of love and prayers from family, friends, Mississippi State University, the hospital staff, and football fans around the world. Thank you for sharing in the joy of our beloved husband and father's life." 

While the college football world mourns the loss of the coach affectionately known as "The Pirate," the coaches and athletics directors at Alabama and Auburn shared messages honoring Leach as a coach and person.

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban called Leach a friend who "always" made him smile.

He said, "Mike Leach was a friend, and we are deeply saddened by his unexpected passing. 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."

Greg Byrne, the athletic director at Alabama, described Leach as "one-of-a-kind."

Auburn put up a memorial for Leach in their football facility, and associate head football coach Carnell "Cadillac" Williams said he was praying for "peace and comfort" for the Leach family.

John Cohen, Auburn's athletic director who recently came over from Mississippi State and worked with Leach, provided a heartfelt message regarding his former employee, saying he "made the world a better place."

Auburn basketball head coach Bruce Pearl took to Twitter to remember Leach.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email trent.baker@1819news.com.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.