Zach Arnett, Mississippi State coach candidates: Coach search, fired top names with SEC offensive linemen
Zach Arnett was promoted to head coach after serving three years as Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator following the sudden death of Mike Leach in December 2022. Less than a year after becoming head coach, Mississippi State fired Arnett after a 4-6 start, including a 1-6 record in the SEC. The firing followed a 51-10 loss to Texas A&M, snapping a three-game losing streak by an average of 26 points with two games left in the season. Ironically, Texas A&M fired its coach, Jimbo Fisher, after the same contest.
Mississippi State hasn’t finished with a winning SEC record since 2014, but the Bulldogs have gone 4-4 in the conference in four of eight seasons entering this year. Mississippi State suffered its sixth loss last week, reaching that mark for just the second time since 2011. The Mississippi State coaching search will likely feature a mix of established head coaches at other programs. as well as a variety of upcoming assistant coaches. and coordinators from college football and the NFL. If you’re a fan of the Bulldogs, or if you just want to know if your coach is the next target, be sure to see what the proven team of forwards has to say at Gene’s Page, the 247Sports affiliate a covers Mississippi State.
The staff at Gene’s Page is led by Steve Robertson, who has covered the Bulldogs for 25-plus years and has consistently been a top contributor covering Mississippi football State. Robertson has been a mainstay in the Mississippi State community – breaking news of the hiring of Mike Leach and Dan Mullen. He has written three books: Flim Flam, Stark Villains and Alpha Dawgs, all of which have been on the Mississippi bestseller list.
Robertson and the Gene’s Page staff have put together a list of coaches to watch while the Bulldogs are in the thick of the search. According to Robertson’s sources, Mississippi State has been working behind the scenes for a while knowing a change was coming.
And right now, Page Gene is offering 60% off annual subscriptions*, so now is the time to sign up.
The team at Gene’s Page already has a list of 18 possible candidates and there are some amazing names on the list. Go to the Gene Page now to see them all.
Mississippi State’s top coaching candidates
One name the staff has mentioned as a possible candidate is Dan Mullen. He led the Bulldogs to seven winning seasons over his nine years and finished with at least four SEC wins in five of those years. He is the second winningest coach in program history, going 69-46 from 2009-17 before taking the head coaching position with the Florida Gators in 2018. Florida went 21-5 over the first Mullen had two seasons before firing him after going 5-6, including 2-6 in the SEC, in 2021.
When asked about the possibility of returning to Mississippi State, Mullen said, “Never say never,” as well as saying the school holds a special place in his heart. Mullen, 51, would create an image of immediate confidence back to the program given his previous success at the school and appears to be one of the safest choices in the college football coaching pool. Mississippi State was coming off losing seasons in four of five years before Mullen left for the first time and the Bulldogs went 9-4 in his second season at the school.
Another name on the list is Liberty head coach Jamey Chadwell. His Liberty Flames are running this season. They are ranked 25th in the nation and have an undefeated record entering Saturday’s matchup against UMass.
Chadwell also had success at Coastal Carolina before landing with the Flames. In fact, Chadwell posted a 31-6 record from 2020-22 with the Chanticleers. Chadwell is also familiar with the state and region after serving as the head coach at Delta State, a Division II program, in 2012. His unique, high-octane offense could be a perfect fit for an MSU program that took a big step back in that category in 2023. See more candidates at the Gene Page.
How to get Mississippi State coaching search updates
The rest of the list of 18 names to know includes several other interesting Group 5 head coaches, and a shocking current SEC head coach “with deep roots at Mississippi State.” See who’s who on the Gene Page.
Who are the top names in Mississippi State’s coaching search as the Bulldogs look to replace Zach Arnett, and what surprises might the current SEC coach have in store? Go to Gene’s Page to see their hot board and more, all from a team of reporters with decades of experience covering the Bulldogs, and find out. And as a reminder, Page Gene is offering 60% off an annual VIP membership as a special coaching study, so subscribe now before it’s too late.
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