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Mississippi State to promote interim Zach Arnett to permanent head coach

The Bulldogs are hiring from within.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 13 Mississippi State at Auburn Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mississippi State will reportedly promote interim head coach and former defensive coordinator Zach Arnett to the permanent head coaching position, per Sports Illustrated.

Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach died of heart complications earlier this week. Arnett has been the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Mississippi State since Leach began coaching there 2020 after rising through the ranks at San Diego State throughout the 2010s.

ESPN reported that Arnett is expected to sign a four-year contract with the school. Mississippi State is also in the middle of conducting a search for a new athletic director after former AD John Cohen left for Auburn earlier this fall.

Arnett’s first game as head coach will be the ReliaQuest Bowl on January 2. The Bulldogs are scheduled to face the Illinois Fighting Illini in Tampa, Florida. Mississippi State was 8-4 this season.