- Mississippi State will hire Joe Moorhead, currently offensive coordinator at Penn State, to be its next head coach.
Mississippi State found a gem in a sharp offensive guy with Northeast roots when they hired Dan Mullen in 2009. The Bulldogs have decided to go a similar route in replacing Dan Mullen, who departed for the Florida job. Mississippi State will hire Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead as its next head coach, multiple sources told SI.com.
The 44-year-old Moorhead was 38–13 in four seasons as a head coach at FCS Fordham after inheriting a team that went 1–10 the year before. He joined James Franklin's staff at Penn State before the 2016 season.
Moorhead has been a revelation for the Penn State offense. PSU is 21–5 in his time there. In the two years before Moorhead arrived in Happy Valley, Penn State’s average rank was No. 99 nationally in yards per play. In his two seasons there, they have improved to No. 19. Moorhead's system offers a unique blend of run-pass-option looks with a West Coast passing scheme that produces big shots downfield and has proven to be one of the most dynamic offenses in college football. Since he’s been with the Nittany Lions only Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Louisville have produced more plays of 20 yards or longer. SI profiled Moorhead and the evolution of his scheme earlier this season.
The Bulldogs' head coaching vacancy was caused when Dan Mullen, who previously served as Florida's offensive coordinator from 2005-08, left Starkville for Florida last week. Others believed to have been in the running for the head coaching vacancy include Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, Michigan passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton, and Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, a former Bulldogs defensive coordinator under Mullen.
USA Today was first to report that Mississippi State was targeting Moorhead for its head coaching vacancy, and Brett McMurphy was first to report that an agreement was in place.