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What is going on with the Mississippi State football coaching search?

Photo: Matt Bush, USA Today Sports

Photo: Matt Bush, USA Today Sports

Back on Thursday, word leaked out that the Mississippi State football program was strongly considering a change at the head coaching position, and ultimately decided to hire Joe Moorhead the following morning. After just two years on the job, Moorhead led the Bulldogs to a 14-12 overall record and back-to-back bowl losses in the Outback Bowl in 2018 and Music City Bowl in 2019.

Now, Mississippi State is looking for a replacement, and the immediate options at the top of the list have been interesting ones.

To get the process going, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported this afternoon that former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik interviewed for the head coaching position before ultimately removing himself as a candidate.

With Chizik’s name off the board, the next name being discussed for the opening is none other than Joe Judge, the special teams/wide receivers coach of the New England Patriots.

FootballScoop reported on Sunday afternoon – less than 24 hours after New England’s loss to the Tennessee Titans in the NFL Playoffs – that Judge is expected to interview for the Mississippi State job, followed by another interview with the New York Giants.

Feldman also reported that Judge has emerged as a top candidate for the Mississippi State job, the school where he played and served on the staff.

“The 37-year-old played at Mississippi State and then spent three years on Sylvester Croom’s staff,” Feldman wrote. “His wife was a soccer player for the Bulldogs as well. Judge also spent three years on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama before spending much of the past decade working for Bill Belichick. I’m hearing he has always REALLY wanted this job and that he will have the support of some key folks at Mississippi State.”

Outside of Judge, Dean Straka of 247Sports is reporting that Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is also “gaining traction” as a top option.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported similar news, adding that Judge and Grantham are the co-favorites in the school’s coaching search.

As Rittenberg reported, Army coach Jeff Monken joins Chizik as the coaches in previous discussion with the program.

Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Billy Napier was also seen as a potential fit, though he made it clear this weekend that he has no intention of taking the Mississippi State job.

“It’s fair to say we’ve made a decision that I’m not a candidate for that job. I just want to get that out of the way,” Napier said, per Creg Stephenson of

Who do you hope ends up in Starkville?

And more importantly, who actually wants to volunteer to live in Starkville?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

3 Comments for What is going on with the Mississippi State football coaching search?

  1. makeitstop
    11:27 pm January 6, 2020 Permalink

    That is not a Cinderella program waiting for a prince, it’s a stepping stone program to a bigger job. It’s the 2d or 3d favorite program in a state w a limited indigenous talent pool surrounded by: ‘Bama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, UGa, LSU, UT, and FSU w Memphis poaching talent now. It’s not Lexington. There’s no top 15 practice facility. No marquee basketball program to draw on until ur feet are under u. Guys from Youngstown like Lexington…. guys from Memphis or Miami don’t like Starkville. And they fired a guy who went to 2 straight bowls and was 14-12 in 2 years (Stoops was 7-17 his first two, albeit a way different starting place) This is not a good job. Dan Mullen used it to get to a good job. The whole lesson about patience and a solid strategy including capital investment was missed there. Glad we hv Barnhart/Stoops and a bunch if adults dedicated to building a program the right way. MSU should hire a guy wiling to give them 4-5 years to burnish a resume,, hit the JUCO circuit hard and get ready to go to Birmingham and Shreveport for bowls for awhile.

  2. dawgcat
    11:47 pm January 6, 2020 Permalink

    Not a dream job, you are right. Mullen was there for 10 years and moved on. Problem now is AD and bad hirings. Jack, screw you and your Starkville bashing. Born and raised in KY and bleed blue with deep Dawgs family ties. Premier SEC baseball team and great college town. I love the Cats but Makeitstop u killing me thinking UK football is on an elite level. Two years is a small sampling.

  3. Eric90
    7:55 am January 7, 2020 Permalink

    Proofread your posts. They hired Joe Moorhead? Seems like a pretty useless post discussing the coaching search if so