Lane Kiffin reacts to Texas Tech honoring Mike Leach at start of Texas Bowl
Lane Kiffin approved of Texas Tech’s classy gesture to remember the late Mike Leach to open the Texas Bowl on Wednesday night in Houston.
On their first possession, the Red Raiders opened in the Air Raid formation and took a delay of game penalty in a tribute to the late former Texas Tech coach.
Air Raid formation ?☠️
— Texas Tech Football (@TexasTechFB) December 29, 2022
Kiffin was asked for his thoughts on the tribute after the game.
“That was a cool idea that their coach had,” Kiffin told reporters in his postgame presser. “He mentioned it to me yesterday at the luncheon. I thought that was really cool. I joked with him and said we need all the help we can get, so we’re not going to decline it.”
Jokes aside, the penalty was declined. Though Kiffin and Leach were on opposite sides of a bitter rivalry, the 2 were close friends. Kiffin noted that Texas Tech honoring Leach despite their messy separation years ago reflected the late coach’s impact on his teams.
“I just think that goes with Coach Leach,” Kiffin continued. “Being in different conferences, being around the coaches and players, there’s not many people that leave places in coaching because sometimes you’re fired, sometimes you leave, which he has done both of those, and then the places still — the places still honor them. That just shows how he impacted people.
“I always said with him, I don’t know how he did it, but he always had time for a long conversation with everybody, and I think that shows why people cared so much.”