Mississippi State has officially found Dan Mullen‘s replacement.
Sunday, Florida announced the hiring of Mullen as its new head football coach. Following up on reports that surfaced overnight, MSU has confirmed that Joe Moorhead has been hired as Mullen’s successor.
Moorhead comes to Starkville after two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Penn State. Outside of a graduate assistant position with the Pitt Panthers in 1998, that was his first coaching job at a Power Five program.
“During our search, it became unequivocally clear who our next football coach was and that man was Joe Moorhead,” MSU athletic director John Cohen said in a statement. “Joe is a winner, a man of integrity with a blue-collar work ethic and an ability to motivate others that our student-athletes will gravitate to. His innovative offensive philosophy is a perfect fit for our program and will keep us on a path to competing for championships. I was also impressed with his detailed defensive plan. He will demand excellence on and off the field and maximize the resources we have to continue to be successful in the SEC. We are proud to welcome Joe, his wife Jennifer, his daughter Kyra and sons Mason and Donovan to the Bulldog Family.
The 44-year-old Moorhead, a native of Pittsburgh, spent the 2012-15 seasons as the head coach at FCS Fordham before taking over the Nittany Lions’ offense in 2016. In his last three seasons at Fordham, he led the Rams into the FCS playoffs each year and a record of 32-8 in that span.
Under Moorhead, the Nittany Lions are seventh nationally in points per game (41.6) in 2017 and finished the 2016 season 21st (37.6). In James Franklin‘s first two seasons, they were 113th (20.6, 2014) and 100th (23.2, 2015) in that same category.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be a Mississippi State Bulldog,” Moorhead said in his statement. “I am thrilled to take the reins of an SEC program that has been as successful as this one has the past decade. I look forward to getting to know the young men on our team, hiring a staff and hitting the recruiting trail quickly. My family and I are excited about being a part of the Starkville community. I am grateful to John Cohen and Dr. Mark Keenum for giving me this opportunity, and I am proud to be your coach.”