STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Pittsburgh native Joe Moorhead said he’s already feeling the Southern hospitality in Starkville. And he’s comfortable enough to set high goals.
“No one rises to low expectations,” Moorhead said.
There likely won’t be next season, as he takes over a bowl-bound team returning many key contributors next year. Moorhead expressed his desire to win the SEC and get Mississippi State to contending for national titles on a yearly basis.
“This wasn’t a job where we had to go in, bulldoze the dang house, dig up the foundation, pour the foundation and put the walls back up,” Moorhead said. “Coach Mullen and his staff did a fantastic job. The foundation is laid, the walls are up. We just got to make sure we add to it.”
Moorhead laid out his plan to do that and met with his new team on Thursday morning, where the former Penn State offensive coordinator made his philosophy clear.
“We are going to attack,” Moorhead said. “We are not going to circle the ring and wait for the bell and try to get a score on the card. We are going to go for the dang knockout punch.”
“I remember having a conversation with James Franklin at Penn State University,” Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen said. “I said, ‘I know this guy can call plays. But I need to ask you this. How about defensive football?’ He said, ‘John, this guy is a ball coach. He can coach any position on the field. We can put him on the defensive side of the football at Penn State and we wouldn’t miss a beat.'”
Now Moorhead has to figure out who will be the Bulldogs’ fifth defensive coordinator in five years. The coordinator from this season, Todd Grantham, is joining former Bulldog head coach Dan Mullen at Florida.
“I look for guys who do things that make it difficult for me to game plan against,” Moorhead said. “I want someone who is going to be multiple, someone that’s going to be versatile, someone that’s going to be attacking.”
As for the rest of this season, Moorhead said he will not be coaching in the Bulldogs’ upcoming bowl game. He said he won’t be at Penn State’s bowl game, but will be at Mississippi State’s. Moorhead added he will be observing players in the practices leading up to the bowl.
You can view Moorhead’s contract details below: