Mississippi State relieved Joe Moorhead from his head coaching duties on Friday morning, and now attention has turned to the next leader of the Mississippi State football program. Some usual names appeared immediately, some of the same names from the rumor mill that started smoking before the egg bowl. However, now that it is official that Mississippi State will be moving on from Joe Moorhead here’s some names Bulldog fans should keep an eye on.

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Billy Napier

(HC Louisiana)

Billy Napier’s name has been the hottest name on the list now and was even back in November when the rumors first started spiraling. Billy Napier played quarterback at Furman University before becoming a graduate assistant at Clemson. He would then become a position coach at South Carolina State and Clemson, working his way up to Offensive Coordinator at Clemson in 2009. After his stent at Clemson he would go on to become an offensive analyst at Alabama, and then become QB coach and Associate Head Coach at Colorado State. Nick Saban would then call him back and he was the Crimson Tide’s WR coach from 2013-2016, but then left to become the Offensive Coordinator and QB coach at Arizona State, before becoming the head coach at Louisiana.

Notable:

  • 17-10 record as HC
  • 39 ppg Offense (2019)
  • Coached Under Saban and Swinney
  • 2019 Sun Belt Coach of the Year
  • Rumor that he denied interest in Mississippi State job

 

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Joe Judge

(STC/WRC New England Patriots)

Joe Judge has also emerged as a top contender for the Mississippi State job. Joe Judge is currently the Special Teams Coordinator and Wide Receiver Coach for the New England Patriots. Judge’s connection to Mississippi State began in 2000 as he played for the Bulldogs his whole career. After his days suiting up as a player in the maroon and white ended he became a graduate assistant from 2005-2007. He then was hired as a linebacker coach at Birmingham Southern and a year later was hired as special teams coordinator at Alabama. After spending two seasons at Alabama he was hired by Bill Belichick as Special Teams Coach, and added the WR’s to his arsenal this year.

Notable:

  • Coached under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick
  • Played and Coached at Mississippi State
  • 3 Super Bowl Championships and two BCS Championships
  • No head coaching experience
  • Possible Candidate for New York Giants HC

 

 

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Troy Calhoun

(HC Air Force)

Troy Calhoun is another name that seems to be gaining traction. Calhoun played quarterback at Air Force, and then went on to become a graduate assistant and offensive coordinator there. He would then move to Ohio to become OC/Qb coach from 1995-2000. After his stent with the Bobcats Calhoun moved south to Wake Forest to take the same role. He then made a jump to the NFL where he was an assistant for the Broncos and OC/QB for the Texans before coming back to his alma mater to assume the head role.

Notable:

  • 98-69 as Head Coach
  •  NFL Coaching Experience
  • Turned down Missouri
  • 2007 Mountain West Coach of the Year
  • 3 10 win seasons at Air Force

 

 

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Steve Sarkisian

(OC Alabama)

Steve Sarkisian reportedly has interest in the Mississippi State job and would be a very interesting candidate. Sarkisian played at BYU, and then went on to coaching at El Camino College (CA) as QB coach, and was hired away one season later by USC to be their QB coach. Sarkisian would then become the QB coach for the Oakland Raiders for one season before heading back to LA to become the QB Coach and Offensive Coordinator at USC. He picked up his first head coaching job at Washington where he spent four seasons before getting the head coaching job at USC where he would coach just 18 games due to being fired. Nick Saban then hired him as offensive coordinator at Alabama and then he would jump back to the NFL ranks to become the Falcons offensive coordinator for one season. Currently Sarkisian is the Offensive Coordinator at Alabama

Notable:

  • 46-35 as Head Coach
  •  NFL Coaching Experience
  • Coached Under Saban
  • Tons of Baggage
  • Rebuilt Washington’s program

 

These are the hottest names to replace Joe Moorhead currently, and this list seems like a good place to start for the Bulldogs and match what John Cohen is looking for in a head coach. Mississippi State fans should expect a new head coach by next week, and there will almost certainly be more and more leaks as time goes on.