The Mississippi State Bulldogs will promote defensive coordinator Zach Arnett to be their next Head Coach. This decision comes after the tragic passing of Head Coach Mike Leach who was hospitalized and passed away suddenly at 61. Arnett was tabbed to be the interim Head Coach while Leach was in the hospital, but will now lead the program into the future. The deal between Arnett and Mississippi State Bulldogs program will reportedly be for four years. Arnett is just 36 years old making him one of the younger head coaches in the Power Five.
Zach Arnett Named MSU’s Head Coach
“No one can ever replace Coach Leach … This team is full of strong, resilient young men and we are committed to continuing to build on the foundation Coach Leach laid and continue to honor his legacy.”#HailState? https://t.co/whPVssrRCt
— Mississippi State Football (@HailStateFB) December 15, 2022
Mississippi State Bulldogs President Mark E. Keenum said the following in a statement after the announcement of the decision: “Our football program has dealt with a stunning blow at the untimely passing of Coach Mike Leach, it is imperative that we bring stability and continuity to our team and our coaching staff as we move forward from this tragic event. I have tremendous confidence in Zach Arnett’s leadership and believe he is uniquely positioned to continue the progress Coach Leach brought to our program. He brings great drive and intensity to the task.”
The Mississippi State Bulldogs have already decided to play in the team’s ReliaQuest Bowl matchup against the Illinois Fighting Illini. They will honor Mike Leach in that game and do what their coach would expect of them. Zach Arnett will lead the team forward and into the future, honoring Leach in the process.