Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has agreed to a deal to become the new head coach at Mississippi State, Brett McMurphy reports Tuesday night.
“The deal is expected to be completed in the next few days,” according to McMurphy’s report. Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman is also reporting the news, as are ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and USA Today’s Dan Wolken.
Moorhead is in his second season with the Nittany Lions following a stint as the head coach at Fordham. Mississippi State is in the market for a new head coach after Dan Mullen left to become the top man at Florida.
Moorhead’s two seasons in State College have only been his second stint as an FBS coordinator, but his high-octane offense drew eyes from schools offering head coaching jobs even after his first season. He elected to stay at Penn State, telling Feldman:
“I’m not in a hurry. This is a great place with great people. I’m close to home, close to my wife’s family. If the right opportunity pops and it matches personally and professionally, then we’ll consider it. I don’t think becoming a head coach again is going to dictate my success in the profession.”
The 44-year-old Moorhead was a graduate assistant at Pitt, then coached at Akron for five seasons, Georgetown for four and spent three seasons as offensive coordinator at Connecticut before returning to his alma mater as the head coach at Fordham.
Penn State’s offense was 59th in Bill Connelly’s S&P+ rankings in 2015 before Moorhead entered the picture. He vaulted the team to 18th in 2016 and up to 12th so far.
Moorhead stepped into a situation at Penn State with Heisman candidate Saquon Barkley and running back and the versatile Trace McSorley at quarterback. He’ll have talented QB Nick Fitzgerald to work with at Mississippi State, and leading rusher Aeris Williams also has one year of eligibility remaingin.
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