Mississippi State is dealing with the unimaginable tragedy of losing coach Mike Leach at age 61 after complications from a heart condition.

The players are planning to play in the ReliaQuest Bowl game against Illinois to honor their late coach. Interim coach/DC Zach Arnett will lead the Bulldogs in that game.

Then, after the bowl game, Arnett is expected to shed the “interim” tag. Per reports on Wednesday afternoon, Mississippi State is expected to make Arnett the permanent head coach:

ESPN’s Pete Thamel said the move was made for program stability, adding that a source said Arnett understands what is being built in Starkville:

Thamel adds that the contract is expected to be for 4 years, but it hasn’t been signed yet:

Arnett has been Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator since Leach took over the program in 2020. He has been working on the recruiting trails in recent days to keep the Bulldogs’ 2023 recruiting class intact.