Mississippi State Promoting Zach Arnett To Replace The Late Mike Leach As Head Coach

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The last few days at Mississippi State have been hard to deal with, but the school has decided on Mike Leach’s replacement. According to sources within the program, OutKick has confirmed the plan is for defensive coordinator Zach Arnett to become the permanent head coach.

Following the loss of Leach, the announcement was made that Arnett would be the interim head coach for the ReliaQuest Bowl. But, just a day later, the school has decided that Zach Arnett is the right man for the full-time job.

Arnett came to Starkville three seasons ago with Mike Leach. Prior to his time in Starkville, Arnett spent nine seasons at San Diego State, becoming the defensive coordinator in 2018.

Update: Mississippi State's Mike Leach Rushed To Hospital After Sunday Heart Attack
Former Head Coach Mike Leach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Mississippi State released a statement following the passing of Leach, naming Arnett the interim.

“MSU President Mark E. Keenum and Interim MSU Athletics Director Bracky Brett have conferred, and the decision has been made to place MSU Defensive Coordinator Zach Arnett in charge of the MSU football team until Coach Leach returns. Practice for the ReliaQuest Bowl game and recruiting operations will continue.”

Now, according to sources, the terms of the deal are still be worked out. But, according to Pete Thamel, it will be a four-year contract for Arnett. It should be noted that Zach Arnett has turned down multiple positions over the last two years, deciding to stay at Mississippi State.

Now, he will become the successor to Mike Leach, who made a lasting impact on the coaching community and college football.

The Bulldogs will play Illinois on Jan. 2 in Tampa, which is the home of the permanent pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.

A fitting tribute to a beloved Mike Leach who was known as the Pirate.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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