STAKRVILLE, Miss. – A pair of former Mississippi State head football coaches, Jackie Sherrill and the late Mike Leach, will be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2024 Hall of Fame Class, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.
The newly elected inductees for the Class of 2024 are as follows (in alphabetical order): Jamaal Charles, Andy Cooper, Judge Roy Hofheinz, Barbara Jacket, Mike Leach, Colt McCoy, Jackie Sherrill, Bubba Thornton and Christa Williams.
Jackie Sherrill, who coached Mississippi State from 1991-2003, started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of Alabama, during the 1966 season. From there, he moved to Arkansas, Iowa State and Pittsburgh. He got his first head coaching job at Washington State in 1976 before going back to Pitt ahead of a stint at Texas A&M. Sherrill is best known for his time at Mississippi State, where he coached for 13 seasons and won 75 career games, becoming the winningest head coach in program history. During his run as the Bulldogs head coach, Sherrill led Mississippi State to its only SEC West Division title in 1998 and a berth in the SEC Championship game. Sherrill also earned a 7-6 record against Ole Miss.
Mike Leach, or the “The Pirate” as he was known by many, was born in Susanville, CA, before taking over the college football world. Leach took his first head coaching job at Texas Tech University at the end of the 1999 season. From 2000-2009, Leach led the Red Raiders to 10 consecutive winning seasons, nine bowl appearances, including five bowl wins. Leach left Texas Tech as the winningest football coach (by wins) in program history with a record of 84-43. Following his time at Texas Tech, Leach also experienced successful head coaching positions at Washington State (2012-19) and Mississippi State (2020-22) before passing in December 2022. While leading Mississippi State, Leach transformed the Bulldogs into a high-powered passing offense with his legendary Air Raid offense. In his second season, he helped State set program records in attempts, completions, passing yards, yards per game, completion percentage and touchdown passes. He helped guide Will Rogers to 30 different school records while being in a position to break numerous other program records. His 21-year coaching career was highlighted by a 158-107 overall record, 17 bowl trips, two-time National Coach of the Year, three-time conference coach of the year and is credited as the mastermind behind the NCAA record-setting “Air Raid” offense.