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  • Writer's pictureKevin Scarbinsky

Bobby Lowder gives Mike Leach the ultimate Auburn compliment

Mike Leach's life moved people. His sudden, shocking passing at age 61 has done the same. A parade of voices from lives he lifted, often by just picking up the phone, has come forward to pay tribute to a man who turned curiosity, non-conformity and an affinity for putting the football in the air into an art form all his own.

Alabama's Nick Saban noted the unpredictable paths their conversations would take but warmly remembered a consistent destination: "They always made me smile." Auburn's John Cohen, who hired him at Mississippi State, described his friend as "a pioneer, intellectual giant, provocateur and fearless warrior." That is an elegy as unique and powerful as the party of one it honors.

Now comes one of the most influential figures in the history of Auburn, the football program and the university, with a compliment as singular and unexpected as the many musings of the pirate-coach himself.

In the words of Bobby Lowder, "I wish we had hired Mike Leach."

That is stop-the-presses stuff. That is an on-the-record comment from a quite private retired individual once known as the most powerful booster in college athletics. That is a sincere compliment from a former Auburn trustee and a forever Auburn man who understands what it takes to be successful at his alma mater like no one else.

Read the rest of Kevin's reconstruction of the time Leach wanted Auburn but Auburn didn't want him. Only in The Lede.

Imagine if Auburn had hired Mike Leach when it had the chance.



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