Mississippi State continues its heartbreaking transition to a new era in the Bulldogs’ football program following the sudden death of legendary and well-loved coach Mike Leach, which saw newly appointed head coach Zach Arnett’s first game at Monday’s ReliaQuest Bowl.
The Bulldogs, who defeated Illinois in the postseason finals in Tampa, Fla., are expected to make a number of significant changes to Arnett’s opening baton, multiple sources told FootballScoop this weekend.
According to sources, “the following coaches are not expected to return to the Bulldogs staff in 2023”: Drew Hollingshead, inside receivers, Steve Spurrier Jr., outside receivers, running backs, Jason Washington, and defensive line, Jeff Phelps. Additional trainers may also not return depending on additional factors.
Additionally, sources told FootballScoop that two off-the-field Mississippi State employees — assistant director of athletics for the football administration Brittany Thackery and assistant director of athletics for player staff Matt Dudek — are also “not expected” to be part of Arnett’s future staff plans.
Hollingshead had spent the last six years on Leach’s staff at both Washington State and Mississippi State, and Spurrier Jr. served as the Bulldogs’ passing coordinator in addition to his positional duties while he spent the last three years was on Leach’s staff in Starkville. Mississippi.
Washington was defensive coach at Texas, where he also served as the Longhorns’ recruiting coordinator under former Texas coach Tom Herman, but had also spent the last three years with Leach at MSU.
Phelps, the only defensive staffer not expected to be retained, had spent the last six seasons with Leach as part of his Cougars and Bulldogs staff.
Additional personnel changes remain possible and should become apparent in the coming days.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.