STARKVILLE — Zach Arnett finally has his first coaching staff in place.
The new Mississippi State head football coach has finalized his 2023 on-field staff, MSU announced Friday afternoon.
The announcement included the hire of Syracuse offensive line coach Mike Schmidt, who will be the Bulldogs’ new tight ends coach (a position that did not exist under the late Mike Leach) as well as coaching tackles. Schmidt spent the past two years at Syracuse, and he will hold in Starkville the same run game coordinator title he did with the Orange in 2022.
Mississippi State moved nickelbacks coach and longtime assistant Tony Hughes into the running backs coach role, reassigning former running backs coach Jason Washington to the team’s director of player development.
Brett Dewhurst, a defensive analyst under Arnett, was promoted to safeties coach, a position Arnett held along with his defensive coordinator role.
The Bulldogs also hired Greg Knox, who served as the interim head coach at Florida during the 2021 season and who was the running backs coach at Buffalo this season, in an offensive analyst role. Knox served as an MSU assistant under Dan Mullen from 2009-2017.
Friday’s moves followed a string of offseason hires as Arnett cobbled together his first staff in Starkville. He hired Appalachian State’s Kevin Barbay last week as offensive coordinator in addition to bringing Auburn’s Will Friend (offensive line), Georgia Tech’s David Turner (defensive line) and Utah’s Chad Bumphis (wide receivers) aboard.
Mississippi State’s 2023 on-field coaching staff:
Zach Arnett, head coach
Kevin Barbay, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Matt Brock, defensive coordinator/linebackers
Tony Hughes, associate head coach/running backs
Chad Bumphis, wide receivers
Brett Dewhurst, safeties
Will Friend, offensive line
Darcel McBath, cornerbacks
Eric Mele, special teams coordinator
Mike Schmidt, tight ends and tackles/run game coordinator
David Turner, defensive line
Theo DeRosa reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.
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