Mississippi State football
Getty Images

Kylin Hill reverses field, will return to Mississippi State instead of entering NFL draft

Leave a comment

Just six days into his tenure as the Mississippi State football head coach, Mike Leach may have just secured his first win.

Dec. 12, Kylin Hill announced that he would be leaving the Mississippi State football team and entering his name into the 2020 NFL Draft.  Jan. 9, Leach was named as MSU’s next head coach.

Wednesday evening, the running back posted the following message on his personal Twitter account:

“After careful consideration, I’ve decided to return to Mississippi State for my senior season.”

Added Hill, “I’m… excited for the opportunity to play my final season in the Coach Leach era of Mississippi State football.”

Because Hill did not hire an agent, he is well within his rights to rescind the earlier draft proclamation and return to Starkville.

Hill led the Bulldogs and the SEC this past season with 1,350 yards rushing and 10 rushing touchdowns on 242 carries.  He added 18 catches for 180 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.

For his career, Hill has totaled 2,477 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, and another 394 and five through the air.

Oregon expected to hire ex-Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead as OC

Oregon Ducks football
Getty Images
1 Comment

A month after losing their offensive coordinator, it appears that the Oregon Ducks football program has found a replacement.

Dec. 11, coordinator Marcus Arroyo officially left Oregon to take the head job at UNLV.  Exactly 23 days later, Joe Moorhead was fired as the head coach at Mississippi State.

Those two events are coming to a confluence as it’s being reported by college football insider Brett McMurphy that Moorhead will replace Arroyo on the Oregon Ducks football staff.  It’s unclear if, like Arroyo, Moorhead will coach quarterbacks as well.

In two seasons at Mississippi State, Moorhead went 14-12.  Moorhead’s firing was centered on an ugly fight between teammates in the run-up to the Music City Bowl.

The day after Christmas, it was reported that freshman Garrett Shrader, who was supposed to start the bowl game at quarterback, was injured in a post-practice scuffle with a defensive teammate.  The altercation was preceded by an in-practice altercation during a contact drill.  Shrader suffered some orbital bone damage as a result of the incident.

The MSU job was, at the time, the furthest west Moorhead had worked in a three-decade coaching career.

From 2016-17, Moorhead was the coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Penn State.  In the four years before that, he was the head coach at FCS Fordham.  He’s also been on staffs at UConn (2009-11), Akron (2004-2008) and Georgetown (2003).

Moorhead was the coordinator at all three of those latter stops.

Mike Leach is the new head coach at Mississippi State

Mike Leach
Getty Images
12 Comments

Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin in the SEC? In the same division?  It’s happening…

Since Joe Moorhead was ousted at Mississippi State, Mike Leach has been on the periphery of discussions as to potential replacements.  Overnight, however, it was reported that the current Washington State head coach had interviewed for the MSU job this past weekend.

Thursday, it was being reported that Leach will become the next head coach at Mississippi State.  A short time later, MSU’s athletic director provided video confirmation of the hiring.

Leach just completed his eighth season at Washington State.  He’s 55-47 with the Cougars, including an 11-win season in 2018.  Wazzu went 6-7 in 2019, the fourth time the school has finished below .500 under Leach.

Including his 10 years at Texas Tech, Leach is 139-90 as a head coach.

The hiring of Leach helps assuage the anguish the university has felt the past week or so.

Since firing Moorhead, Louisiana’s Billy Napier has turned down overtures from the university. Former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik interviewed for the job, but pulled his name from consideration the next day.  Former MSU football player Joe Judge was considered a (the?) leading candidate to return home. Instead, the New England Patriots special teams coordinator was named as the New York Giants head coach.

It had gotten to the point where Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz is tossing his name into the mix.

Now, Leach will again cross swords with Kiffin.  Hired by Ole Miss last month, Kiffin was at USC as head coach from 2010 until late September of 2013.  One of Kiffin’s last losses at the school?  To Leach and Wazzu.

It’s safe to say that, at this point, the 2020 Egg Bowl will be one of the most anticipated games of the entire season.  And it’s only January.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank Mr. Dog Pisser for helping to trigger the series of events that led us to Leach-Kiffin, the Sequel.

UPDATED 3:56 P.M. ET: MSU has revealed that Mike Leach will officially be introduced as head coach at one p.m. ET Friday.

Below are statements released by the university after officially announcing the hiring.

HEAD COACH MIKE LEACH
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be the head football coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. I loved Washington State, but I am excited for the next chapter in the SEC. It’s a privilege to be a part of the MSU family, and we look forward to getting down to Starkville shortly.”

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JOHN COHEN
“Mike Leach is a proven winner who has established a culture of excellence for nearly two decades as a head coach. 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.”

MSU PRESIDENT MARK KEENUM
“I want to commend Athletics Director John Cohen and his staff for conducting a very thorough and true national search. In Coach Mike Leach, that search produced a charismatic leader who has proven he can both win football games at a high level and motivate teams to play up to their potential. I’m excited about the future of our football program.”

Mike Leach has interviewed for Mississippi State job

Mike Leach
Getty Images
5 Comments

There aren’t many frivolous things I ask for in this world, but Mike Leach coaching in the SEC is right up towards the top when I do.  As I wake up on this ninth day of the Year of Our Lord 2020, that’s actually a possibility.  Reportedly.

According to reports, John Cohen flew out to Key West this week to interview Mike Leach.  Leach is currently the head football coach at Washington State.  Cohen is currently the athletic director at Mississippi State, which is currently on the hunt for a head football coach after firing Joe Moorhead earlier this month.

Since firing Moorhead, Louisiana’s Billy Napier has turned down overtures from the university. Former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik interviewed for the job, but pulled his name from consideration the next day.  Former MSU football player Joe Judge was considered a (the?) leading candidate to return home. Instead, the New England Patriots special teams coordinator was named as the New York Giants head coach.

It’s gotten to the point where Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz is tossing his name into the mix.

If Cohen wants to make a splash that lasts beyond the press conference ripples anyone else would elicit, bring Leach to Starkville.  OK, selfishly, bring Leach to Starkville.  Whatever.  The point still stands, though.

Sanctimonious trolls and allFrauds and allFat, dumb, happy and entitled and allPirate bellyflopping. “Insurgent Warfare and Football Strategy.” “Your level isn’t special, your conference isn’t special.64-team playoff. “Zombie-like… empty-corpse quality.” “Fat little girlfriends.

Leach in the SEC?  Yes. Please.

Skip Holtz reportedly interested in Mississippi State job

Skip Holtz
Getty Images
2 Comments

Could Skip Holtz be the next Holtz on an SEC sideline? If it’s up to him he will be.  Reportedly.

In the days since Joe Moorhead was summarily dismissed as the head football coach at Mississippi State, Billy Napier has turned down overtures from the university. Former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik interviewed for the job, but pulled his name from consideration the next day.

On top of that, former MSU football player Joe Judge was considered a (the?) leading candidate to return home. Instead, the New England Patriots special teams coordinator was named as the New York Giants head coach.

If MSU is looking for someone actually interested in the job, perhaps they should give Skip Holtz a call. At least, that’s the case according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

Skip Holtz, the son of former South Carolina (and Notre Dame and others) head coach Lou Holtz, just completed his seventh season at Louisiana Tech. At 10-3 this year, the Bulldogs reached double-digit wins for the first time in school history. The program also has six straight bowl wins, all under the 55-year-old Holtz. Prior to Holtz, they had two bowl wins (in six appearances).

Since a 4-8 initial campaign, Tech has won no fewer than seven games. Tech has won eight or more games 14 times as an FBS school; Holtz is responsible for five of those seasons.

Despite the series of events that have led to some dropping out, there are a handful of candidates outside of Holtz who remain a part of the search in Starkville:

  • Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun
  • UAB head coach Bill Clark
  • Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham
  • Army head coach Jeff Monken
  • Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian