Mississippi State made it official Wednesday morning, as the school announced the hiring of its 33rd football coach: former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.
Moorhead, who is already creating excitement among a fanbase clamoring for “MoorCowbell,” heads to Starkville after two years running Penn State’s high-powered offense — an offense that was quite low-powered before he arrived for the 2016 season.
Bringing the 44-year-old Moorhead to “Stark Vegas” was a no-brainer, according to MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen:
"During our search, it became unequivocally clear who our next football coach was and that man was Joe Moorhead," Cohen said. "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."
Moorhead is looking forward to the opportunity:
"It's a tremendous honor to be a Mississippi State Bulldog," Moorhead said. "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."
Penn State coach James Franklin wished his former OC well, too:
"We couldn't be happier for Joe Moorhead and his family. This is a tremendous opportunity for him to return to being a head coach and continue to move forward in his career. We are so appreciative of everything that he has done for Penn State Football in his two years. Joe's combination of leadership, X's and O's, and, most importantly, positive attitude brought the best out of our very talented offensive student-athletes. He has been a great mentor and coach to our student-athletes and friend to me and our staff. We wish Joe nothing but success at Mississippi State.
Moorhead will be formally introduced at a Thursday press conference.