Joe Moorhead

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Joe Moorhead
Current position
TitleOffensive coordinator
Biographical details
Born (1973-11-02) November 2, 1973 (age 46)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Playing career
1996Munich Cowboys
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1998–1999Pittsburgh (GA)
2000Georgetown (RB)
2001–2002Georgetown (QB)
2003Georgetown (OC/QB)
2004Akron (WR/RC)
2005Akron (AHC/PGC/WR/RC)
2006–2008Akron (OC/QB)
2009–2010Connecticut (OC/QB)
2011Connecticut (QB)
2016–2017Penn State (OC/QB)
2018–2019Mississippi State
2020–presentOregon (OC/QB)
Head coaching record
Tournaments2–3 (NCAA D-I FCS playoffs)

Joe Moorhead (born November 2, 1973) is an American football coach. He is currently the offensive coordinator at the University of Oregon. He was previously the head coach at Mississippi State University from 2018–2019. Prior to entering coaching, Moorhead played as a quarterback at Fordham University from 1992–1995 and professionally for the Munich Cowboys of the German Football League in 1996.

Coaching career[edit]

After a short professional playing career, the Pittsburgh-born Moorhead began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh.[1] He was hired as running backs coach at Georgetown University in 2000, eventually being elevated to quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator by 2003. In 2004, Moorhead began a five-year stint at the University of Akron, including two years as the offensive coordinator. Moorhead joined the University of Connecticut staff in 2009 as offensive coordinator. The Huskies won a Big East Championship in 2010 and made an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.

Moorhead was named the head football coach at Fordham University on December 16, 2011. He is believed to be the first former Patriot League player to return to the conference as a head coach. Inheriting a 1–10 team, the Rams had the second largest turnaround in FCS in 2012 (6–5). The Rams opened the 2013 season with ten consecutive wins, the best start in Fordham's history.

On December 12, 2015, Moorhead was named the offensive coordinator for the Penn State football team. During James Franklin's first two years as head coach (and prior to Moorhead's arrival), the Penn State offense averaged 335.3 yards per game in 2014 and 348.4 yards per game in 2015. While learning Moorhead's offensive system during 2016, offensive output at Penn State improved to 432.6 yards per game.[2][3][4]

On August 24, 2017, Moorhead was named the No. 1 rising assistant in college football by Sports Illustrated and Yahoo.[5]

On November 28, 2017, Moorhead was hired as the head coach at Mississippi State University, replacing Dan Mullen who had been with Mississippi State for nine seasons before being hired by the University of Florida.[6][7]

Moorehead led the Bulldogs to an 8-4 record in 2018, tied for the most wins for a first-year coach in school history. However, his second season got off to a rough start when it emerged that 10 players allowed a tutor to take tests and complete coursework for them. The players were all suspended for eight games, severely limiting the Bulldogs' depth. Fans were also angered by a pedestrian offense and upsets by Kansas State and Tennessee. There was also concern that he didn't really fit in with Mississippi State's culture,[8] even though he'd taken the podium ringing a cowbell when he was formally introduced as head coach.[9]

According to ESPN, Mississippi State officials intended to fire Moorhead if he didn't defeat Ole Miss in the 2019 Egg Bowl.[10] However, the Bulldogs won that game 21-20 to become bowl-eligible, making Moorhead only the third Bulldog coach to win his first two Egg Bowls. At an emotional press conference the following day, Moorhead tried to knock down the rumors about his job security, saying, "This is my school, this is my team, this is my program," and that anyone who thought otherwise could "pound sand and kick rocks." He added, "You'll have to drag my Yankee ass out of here."[11][12][

However, on January 3, 2020, Moorhead was fired after finishing 6–7 following a 38–28 loss to Louisville in the Music City Bowl. Besides the Bulldogs' lackluster performance in that game, athletic director John Cohen and other school officials were angered when they learned quarterback Garrett Shrader had suffered an eye injury during a fight in practice. Shrader had missed the game with what Moorhead initially described as an "upper body injury."[13][8]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP/TSN/STATS# Coaches°
Fordham Rams (Patriot League) (2012–2015)
2012 Fordham 6–5 0–0
2013 Fordham 12–2 0–0 L FCS Second Round 9 10
2014 Fordham 11–3 6–0 1st L FCS Second Round 11 14
2015 Fordham 9–3 5–1 2nd L FCS First Round 19 19
Fordham: 38–13 11–1
Mississippi State Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (2018–2019)
2018 Mississippi State 8–5 4–4 4th (Western) L Outback 25
2019 Mississippi State 6–7 3–5 5th (Western) L Music City
Mississippi State: 14–12 7–9
Total: 52–25
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ Feldman, Bruce (September 20, 2017). "The Oral History of How Joe Moorhead Created Penn State's Cutting-Edge Offense". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  2. ^ "2014 Penn State Football". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "2015 Penn State Football". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  4. ^ "2016 Penn State Football". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  5. ^ Callahan, Andrew (August 24, 2017). "Moorhead named nation's top rising assistant by SI, Yahoo". Lions247. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Kercheval, Ben. "Penn State OC Joe Moorhead tabbed as Mississippi State's next coach". CBSSports.
  7. ^ Kercheval, Ben (November 29, 2017). "Report: Penn State OC Joe Moorhead tabbed as Mississippi State's next coach". CBS Sports. CBS. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Tyler Horka (January 3, 2020). "Mississippi State fires head coach Joe Moorhead after two seasons". The Clarion-Ledger.
  9. ^ Joe Moorhead's first press conference as head coach from Mississippi State athletics
  10. ^ "Mississippi State fires Moorhead after 2 seasons". 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  11. ^ Tyler Horka (November 29, 2019). "'My school': Why Joe Moorhead is adamant he's Mississippi State's man after Egg Bowl win". The Clarion-Ledger.
  12. ^ Garrick Hodge (January 3, 2020). "36 days after Egg Bowl win, Moorhead told by MSU to pound sand and kick rocks". The Commercial Dispatch.
  13. ^ "Mississippi State fires Moorhead after 2 seasons". 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2020-01-03.

External links[edit]