STARKVILLE, Miss.—Shortly after he had accepted the job of being Mississippi State’s 33rd head football coach, one of Joe Moorhead’s first calls was to his quarterback.

“This first question he asked me was my ring size,” said rising senior Nick Fitzgerald. “I asked him why he wanted to know.

“He said it was because we were going to win an SEC championship.”

“That got me fired up,” said Fitzgerald, who is recovering from an ankle injury in the final regular season game with Ole Miss on Nov. 23. “He hadn’t even met us but already he had confidence in us.”

That, in a nutshell, is Joe Moorhead, the 44-year-old former Penn State offensive coordinator and Fordham head coach who said he couldn’t “yes” fast enough when the opportunity came to replace Dan Mullen. He inherits a program that is going through the most consistent period of success in the school’s history with eight straight bowl appearances.


Earlier this spring I sat down with Moorhead in his new office, where we touched on a number of topics:

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