Official: Mississippi State hires Penn State OC Joe Moorhead as head coach

Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead congratulates senior wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton after the win over Nebraska Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 in State College, Pa. Penn State won over Nebraska 56-44. (Abby Drey/Cetre Daily Times/TNS)

Mississippi State moved quickly to find its replacement for Dan Mullen.

The school announced Wednesday that Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead would be its next coach. The news was first reported Tuesday night per Brett McMurphy, who first reported the news. Mullen was officially announced as the head coach at Florida on Sunday after nine seasons at MSU.

“During our search, it became unequivocally clear who our next football coach was and that man was Joe Moorhead,” Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen said. “Joe is a winner, a man of integrity with a blue-collar work ethic and an ability to motivate others that our student-athletes will gravitate to. His innovative offensive philosophy is a perfect fit for our program and will keep us on a path to competing for championships. I was also impressed with his detailed defensive plan. He will demand excellence on and off the field and maximize the resources we have to continue to be successful in the SEC.”

Moorhead, 44, has been at Penn State for the past two seasons and orchestrated one of the top offenses in the country. The Nittany Lions struggled mightily on offense in James Franklin’s first two seasons as head coach, prompting the hire of Moorhead, who was the head coach at his alma mater, Fordham, from 2012-2015.

Moorhead went 38-13 at Fordham as his teams put up huge numbers offensively. That translated to Penn State. In Moorhead’s first season, PSU averaged 37.6 points and 432.6 yards per game, won the Big Ten championship and just missed out on the College Football Playoff. This season, Penn State, currently ranked No. 9, has a 10-2 record and is averaging 453.3 and 41.6 points per game.

Before his time at Penn State and Fordham, Moorhead, a native of the Pittsburgh area, served as an assistant at UConn, Akron and Georgetown and was a graduate assistant at Pittsburgh. He has never coached in the SEC.

Mississippi State, ranked No. 23 in Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff rankings, finished the regular season with an 8-4 record.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!