STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead has agreed to a four-year contract extension through the 2022 season, Director of Athletics John Cohen announced Tuesday.
"We are excited about the leadership of Mississippi State football under Coach Moorhead," Cohen said. "He is a man of integrity, loyalty and humility. His love for his players and our program is evident. He is driven by elevating our program to a championship standard on and off the field. We look forward to watching the continued growth of our football program under his watch."
"It's a privilege to be the head football coach at Mississippi State," Moorhead said. "I want to thank John, President (Mark) Keenum and this wonderful University for believing in me. My family and I love Starkville. For me, it's about building a championship program our Bulldog fans can be proud of and helping our players maximize their potential on and off the field, while walking away with a meaningful degree from Mississippi State University. Our team is excited about the season ahead, and I look forward to continuing to elevate our program in everything we do."
Moorhead, who owns a 46-18 career record in five seasons as a head coach, became just the second MSU head coach to win eight or more games in his debut season and the first since College Football Hall of Famer Allyn McKeen in 1939. Moorhead was also just the second coach in Bulldog history to reach a bowl game in his first season, joining Jackie Sherrill's 1991 squad.
Behind one of the SEC's most potent rushing attacks and the nation's No. 1 defense, the Bulldogs defeated two top 20 teams and won four out of their last five regular season games, including a 35-3 victory over rival Ole Miss on Thanksgiving night. Moorhead's first State team secured the program's second-highest finish ever in the College Football Playoff rankings at No. 18, and it placed No. 25 in the final Coaches poll after earning a berth in the program's first-ever Outback Bowl.
Moorhead, the 2016 and 2017 National Offensive Coordinator of the Year, then landed a top 25 signing class as rated by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals in February. Off the field, State posted a program-record grade point average in the fall of 2018 and followed that up with its highest spring GPA on record. A total of 27 Bulldogs garnered Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition, while 28 players on the 2018 squad have earned their degrees.