Former Winona State men's basketball coach Mike Leaf dies at 58

Mike Leaf. Photo: Courtesy of WXOW
Mike Leaf.

Updated: August 20, 2019 08:49 PM

Former Winona State University (WSU) men's basketball coach Mike Leaf died Monday at the age of 58. He had resigned from his position four years prior.

Leaf won a school-record 382 games and led the Warriors to a pair of NCAA Divison II National Championships.


He had spent 28 years with the program and 17 as a head coach. He abruptly resigned in June 2015 after being accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a player. 

The coach led the Warriors to national championships in 2006 and 2008 and finished as national runners-up in 2007. The basketball team recorded an eye-popping record of 105-6 during that span of three seasons. During the 2007-2008 season, Leaf's team set a Division II record for wins in a season (38). 

Winona State advanced to the NCAA tournament in seven-consecutive seasons under Leaf from 2005-2011. They made it to the Elite Eight in 2013 and returned to the tourney in 2014.

In his final season as head coach, Leaf's Warriors went 14-13. 

The former head coach's funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Fawcett Junker Funeral Home in Winona, with visitation beginning at 11:30 a.m.

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