Alabama honors Mike Leach with helmet patch in Sugar Bowl

NEW ORLEANS ― Alabama football became the latest team in college football to pay tribute to late Mississippi State coach Mike Leach. The Crimson Tide wore a helmet patch honoring him for the Sugar Bowl.

Leach died Dec. 12 after complications from a heart condition.

No. 5 Alabama (10-2) will have the patch on helmets for the matchup with No. 9 Kansas State (10-3) on Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN).

Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri were among schools who have worn a similar helmet patch honoring Leach during bowl games.

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Alabama coach Nick Saban offered a tribute to Leach after his passing, calling him a friend.

‘We are deeply saddened by his unexpected passing,’ Saban wrote. ‘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.’

This post appeared first on USA TODAY