Joe Moorhead is out after two seasons as head football coach at Mississippi State, the school announced Friday.
Moorhead went 14-12 with the Bulldogs, including 6-7 in 2019. MSU ended its season with a 38-28 loss to Louisville in the Music City Bowl on Monday.
“In consultation with President Mark Keenum and after a thorough review and evaluation of all aspects of our football program, I have decided that a change in leadership is in the best interest of our team and university,” Mississippi State athletics director John Cohen said. “I want to thank Coach Moorhead for the hard work he has done with our football program. I wish Joe and his family success in the future.”
Associate head coach/tight ends coach Tony Hughes has been installed as interim coach. Hughes was head coach at Jackson State from 2016-18 before joining Moorhead’s staff last season.
Moorhead seemed safe following a 21-20 victory over Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night, but things apparently took a turn in the last month. The Bulldogs were riddled with off-field trouble, including a player fight in practice that resulted in starting quarterback Garrett Shrader being unable to play in the Music City Bowl.
The 46-year-old Moorhead replaced Dan Mullen at Mississippi State after a decorated tenure as offensive coordinator at Penn State from 2016-17. He was head coach at Fordham from 2012-15, posting a 38-13 record and reaching the FCS playoffs three times.
“It is clear the time has come to change the leadership of our football program,” Keenum said. “Coach Moorhead is a good man, and I have nothing but respect for him. I sincerely wish the very best for him and his wonderful family.