The circumstances under which Mississippi State needed to find a new head football coach were rather weird, and perhaps as a result, the university decided to make a hire straight out of left field. According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Bulldogs have decided to hire Washington State head coach Mike Leach to take over for the recently fired Joe Moorhead.
Source: Mike Leach will be the next head coach at Mississippi State.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 9, 2020
The report was soon confirmed by Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
BREAKING: #WAZZU’s Mike Leach is expected to become the next head coach at Miss. State, per source. Yahoo first reported the move.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 9, 2020
The job opened up after Moorhead, who was on the hot seat but appeared to be safe following the team’s win over Ole Miss in this year’s bizarre Egg Bowl, was fired on Jan. 3 after two years on the job. Mississippi State went 14-12 and 7-9 in SEC play during Moorhead’s brief tenure, and opted to go in another direction rather quickly.
Now, the Bulldogs will turn to one of the sport’s most innovative and eccentric head coaches in Leach, who will bring his prolific and pass-happy offense to Starkville. Leach has been tied to SEC jobs in the past, but in the Bulldogs, he finally found a program that wanted to bring him on board. He spent eight years in Pullman coaching the Cougars, going 55-47 and 36-36 in conference play at a place where it’s awfully hard to win. For his career, which also includes a lengthy stop at Texas Tech, Leach is 139-90 as a head coach.
This is certainly a curious hire, both because of Leach’s personality and the fact that he’ll bring with him an offense that we’ve never quite seen in the SEC. At the very least, next year’s Egg Bowl should be a delight now that Leach and Lane Kiffin will be involved.