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#pounditThursday, December 7, 2023

Mississippi State makes decision on Mike Leach successor

Mike Leach looking ahead

Sep 10, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State has acted quickly to appoint a new head coach after the death of Mike Leach.

The Bulldogs are expected to promote defensive coordinator Zach Arnett to head coach, according to Ross Dellenger of SI Now. Arnett had been named the interim head coach after Leach was initially hospitalized on Saturday.

Arnett has no previous head coaching experience, but has served as Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator since Leach took the job in 2020. He had previously served as a defensive coordinator for San Diego State, and had previously been targeted by major programs such as Oregon and LSU for a defensive coordinator role.

Leach died on Monday, two days after suffering a reported massive heart attack. Arnett will take charge of the ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 2 against Illinois, which the Bulldogs have confirmed they will play in after Leach’s death.


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