Reports indicate that Mississippi State has fired head coach Zach Arnett from his duties this morning. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported the news just a couple of hours ago
The Bulldogs are letting Arnett go after just 11 games, tying former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich for shortest tenure. Coach Rolovich was relieved of his post for inability to comply with vaccine mandates. Arnett was fired for performance reasons. Arnett led MSU to a 4-6 overall record and was 1-6 in SEC play. MSU is tied for last place in the highly competitive SEC West. Arnett wasn’t the first coaching casualty from the game against Texas A&M as Jimbo Fisher was let go.
He took over the program under tragic circumstances as he was named the successor after Mike Leach’s passing. Arnett had to rally his players for the bowl game, recruit, and the portal wars. He wanted to put his imprint on the program by going away from Leach’s Air Raid, for better or worse. As it turns out, it was an adverse turn of fortune for the university.
The change in leadership was widely expected as there was a new AD, underperformance on the field, and general malaise. According to FootballScoop, Arnett is owed a shade under $4 million for his brief tenure but that figure can be offset if he is hired elsewhere for an on-field role.
What’s next for Arnett and MSU?
Coach Arnett may not be out of work for long as Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reports that he could be hired quickly for a DC role.
Mississippi State has games against Southern Miss, who is struggling in their own right, and the Egg Bowl. MSU named Greg Knox as the interim head coach. He previously served in the same capacity in 2017 prior to his stint at Florida as an RB / ST coach for three seasons. Knox was also the interim head coach at Florida in 2021.