Joe Moorhead discusses how coaching staff changes impacted Mississippi State's recruiting class
Coming off his debut 8-5 season in Starkville, Joe Moorhead likely didn’t anticipate he would suffer so much staff turnover from his first Mississippi State coaching staff. Unfortunately for the second-year MSU coach, that’s exactly what occurred this offseason.
If you missed the news following the conclusion of the season, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy returned to the NFL to once again join the Green Bay Packers coaching staff, running backs coach Charles Huff and defensive line coach Brian Baker both left for the same roles at Alabama while Mark Hudspeth left to take over the Austin Peay program.
While Moorhead admitted the moves may have affected Mississippi State’s final 2019 signing class, he expressed his satisfaction in quickly landing replacements in time for National Signing Day during his latest media availability.
“I think we did our best to minimize the effect it would have on the class,” Moorhead said during his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday. “I don’t think you can completely stick your head in the sand and look the other way either. You are talking about guys who built relationships with players we recruited for well over a year’s worth of time. So, to say it didn’t have an effect, to me, would be foolish.
“I think [it helped] having a plan and replacing them very quickly with incredibly competent, qualified people. Certainly at the running back position, Terry Richardson is a guy I worked with at UConn, who has playing and coaching experience in college and the NFL. He has worked with a ton of pros and done an unbelievable job in recruiting. I think that helped, and certainly Michael Johnson, a coordinator in the NFL and college has developed a bunch of pro guys.
“And then there’s Deke Adams, who’s an in-state guy and has coached Jadeveon Clowney. Certainly, with whatever it was, a week and a half or two weeks left in recruiting, to lose guys that had been recruiting people at key positions was less than ideal, but I think our response to that, our readiness and having people available and bringing them in quickly helped minimize the effect on the class.”
While Mississippi State’s coach was forced to act quickly and efficiently without much time leading up to National Signing Day, his ability to land quality coaches in a short period of time proved to be impressive and shows he has promptly learned one of the most important aspects of being a head coach — the importance of hiring quality assistants to work around you.