Gardner Minshew is missing practice to attend the funeral of legendary trainer Mike Leach

PHILADELPHIA Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew pays his respects to a coach who he says has changed his life.

Minshew’s former Washington State college coach, Mike Leach, tragically died on December 13 at the age of 61 from complications from heart disease.

Minshew spent a year with Leach in Washington before joining the NFL

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Minshew spent a year with Leach in Washington before joining the NFLPhoto credit: Getty
Washington State defeated Iowa State in the 2018 Alamo Bowl

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Washington State defeated Iowa State in the 2018 Alamo BowlPhoto credit: Getty

The Mississippi State head coach died just days after being hospitalized in critical condition.

Following Leach’s death, his family said in a statement, “Mike was a giving and caring husband, father and grandfather.

“He was able to take part in organ donation at the UMMC as a last act of charity.

“We are supported and built up by the love and prayers of family, friends, Mississippi State University, hospital staff and football fans around the world.

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And one of those friends was Minshew, who told Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer that Leach had changed his life.

Minshew explained, “He was the first person I’ve ever been with who expresses that through the way he lived and how authentic he was in the people around him.

“I’ve never been more comfortable with myself than with Coach Leach. The way he believed in me — that belief, that’s something that really resonates, and that’s something I tell every parent, coach, teacher.

“The best thing you can do for a child is to believe in him. And he did that for me, and it changed my life.”

According to NBC John ClarkMinshew was scheduled to deliver a eulogy at Leach’s funeral.

In order to attend the service, Minshew was excused, via Pro Football Talk, from a walkthrough of the Eagles as they prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial division game on Christmas Eve at AT&T Stadium.

If the Eagles leave their rivals’ home with a win, they’ll also have secured the NFC East title with two games to go.

Minshew is widely expected to start in place of MVP hopeful Jalen Hurts, who recently suffered a sprained shoulder.

Leach had been head coaches at Mississippi State, Washington State and Texas Tech

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Leach had been head coaches at Mississippi State, Washington State and Texas TechPhoto credit: Reuters
Minshew (L) was named 2018 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year

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Minshew (L) was named 2018 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the YearPhoto credit: Getty
Leach was a pioneer of air raid crimes

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Leach was a pioneer of air raid crimesPhoto credit: Getty
Minshew has played three games for the Eagles this season

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Minshew has played three games for the Eagles this seasonPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6967246/gardner-minshew-misses-practice-coach-mike-leach-funeral/ Gardner Minshew is missing practice to attend the funeral of legendary trainer Mike Leach

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