Mississippi State hires Mike Leach as next head coach

Mississippi State has found its new head coach. 

The always-entertaining Mike Leach will become the next head coach at Mississippi State after Joe Moorhead was recently fired after two seasons in Starkville. 

Leach will bring his air-raid offense to Mississippi State after spending the previous 8 seasons as the head coach at Washington State. In 2019, the Cougars had the 11th-ranked scoring offense in college football while the Bulldogs were ranked 74th. 

During his press conference announcing Moorhead’s firing, AD John Cohen stated that MSU would look for a coach that would bring an “edge” to Starkville while holding players accountable. He says that, with Leach, they found their guy.

“Mike Leach is a proven winner who has established a culture of excellence for nearly two decades as a head coach,” Cohen said. “An offensive genius and two-time national coach of the year, he has a track record of building programs to national prominence with accountability and a blue-collar approach. We are thrilled to welcome him and his family to the Mississippi State family and look forward to watching our football program grow under his leadership.”

SportsTalk Mississippi’s MSU Beat Reporter Brian Hadad shared his thoughts on the hire and how Leach’s scheme will be a departure from Mississippi State offenses of the past.

“Leach will be an interesting choice for Mississippi State, a team that has had a reputation for decades as a power running offense. This represents a paradigm shift from those philosophies, and raises an interesting question. Mississippi State was one of the worst passing teams in the SEC in 2019, and all three quarterbacks on campus were recruited to run either Dan Mullen’s or Joe Moorhead’s scheme which leaned on the quarterback run. Recruiting will be key for Leach, as he’ll have to find the kind of players that fit into his system,” he said.

Prior to his time at WSU, Leach was the head coach at Texas Tech from 2000-09. He was fired after officials ruled that Leach had violated a medical procedure by placing a player, who had suffered a concussion, in an electrical closet.

Leach becomes the 34th head coach in program history and he’ll be introduced during a press conference on Friday at noon. The event will be held at the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex and is open to the public.