Texas Tech inducting Leach into hall of honor

Texas Tech will recognize Mike Leach, the winningest coach in Red Raiders history, with a spot in its hall of honor, the school announced Wednesday.

Leach, who died Dec. 12 from complications related to a heart condition, is joined in the class by Kliff Kingsbury, his former quarterback who went on to coach the Red Raiders.

The class will be honored in a ceremony Sept. 29 and on the field Sept. 30 when Houston plays at Texas Tech.

Leach and his Air Raid offense arrived in Lubbock in 2000, and the Red Raiders instantly became one of the most entertaining teams in the country. Leach went 84-43 at Texas Tech with 10 straight bowl appearances and won 11 games in 2008, including an upset of No. 1 Texas.

Leach’s impact changed the face of the Big 12, helping turn it into a wide-open offensive league. Three of his former assistants are current coaches in the conference — Dave Aranda at Baylor, Sonny Dykes at TCU and Dana Holgorsen at Houston — while Lincoln Riley coached at Oklahoma before departing for USC.

In 2009, Leach was fired by Texas Tech following allegations that he mistreated wide receiver Adam James by making him stand in a dark shed because he thought he was faking concussion symptoms.

Leach and Texas Tech never reconciled, with him mounting a legal campaign to recover $2.5 million he said the school owed him. The case is ongoing as part of a public records lawsuit to get the school to produce information.

Leach will be inducted into the school’s hall of honor, for nonathletes, while Kingsbury will headline the school’s athletic hall of fame class.

Kingsbury, who arrived at Texas Tech under Spike Dykes, became Leach’s first quarterback in Lubbock. He set 17 FBS records, 16 Big 12 marks and 39 school records while throwing for more than 12,000 yards. Kingsbury, a former Arizona Cardinals coach, is currently an analyst for Riley at USC.