After Dan Mullen's Egg Bowl win secured a job that may never have been in question in the first place, Mississippi State fans assumed that the Bulldog staff would probably go unchanged for this year's coaching carousel season. If anyone might get snatched up, we thought it would be defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, who still could be courted by teams with open DC positions. Today, however, we found out that another coach would wind up being the first one to depart Starkville this offseason.
MSU offensive coordinator Les Koenning has reportedly accepted a position coaching wide receivers for Charlie Strong's Texas coaching staff, according to reports by Bulldog Blitz's Robbie Faulk ($), Texas Rivals site Orange Bloods ($), Texas 247 Sports site Horns247 ($), as well as others. As of this morning, those reports are unconfirmed by MSU beat writers through MSU officials.
Koenning, who graduated from Texas in 1981, had been the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State for the five seasons that Dan Mullen has been in town, and was a coordinator for seven different schools since 1998.
Koenning's development of quarterbacks in his time at MSU was noteworthy, including helping Tyler Russell set numerous single season passing records in 2012. He also helped bring along Dak Prescott, whose 2013 has fans expecting a record season from him this upcoming fall. With that being said, many have operated under the assumption that Dan Mullen calls plays for State, so Koenning's influence on MSU's outstanding offensive seasons in 2012 and 2013 is not total if notable at all.
While Mississippi State will certainly miss Koenning's quarterback development abilities, there is an opportunity for Mullen and company to go out and hire a bright young coaching mind to take over the offense and provide an upgrade at the offensive coordinator position. The pieces and players are in place for a potentially special season this fall for MSU, so it is critical that Dan and others involved in the search get the right man to lead the offense going forward.
As of right now we are not hearing any names as potential candidates, but we will keep you informed as things develop.
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