Former Penn State OC Joe Moorhead about to Zip his way to the MAC

·3 min read

Conference championship weekend in college football got underway Friday night with the Conference USA and Pac-12 championship games. And with conference championship weekend upon us, a few assistant coaches and coordinators could be coaching their final games with their respective programs before heading to new opportunities. One of those coaches is Oregon offensive coordinator, and former Penn State offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead.

Moorhead may have coached his final game calling the offense for the Oregon Ducks on Friday night, a disappointing 38-10 loss to Utah just a few weeks after Oregon’s offense had no answers for the same Utah defense. As previously reported, Moorhead was being projected as the leading candidate to become the new head coach of the Akron Zips. And on Saturday morning, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo, a formal announcement from Akropn on the hiring of Moorhead as head coach could come as early as today.

This would be Moorhead’s second head coaching job at the FBS level, as he is now a couple of years removed from his short run as head coach at Mississippi State. Moorhead was also a head coach at Fordham before James Franklin hired him to be Penn State’s offensive coordinator in 2016.

Moorhead has previous experience with the Akron program. The Pittsburgh native was a wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for Akron in 2004 and added the role of passing game coordinator the following season. Moorhead served as Akron’s offensive coordinator from 2006 through 2008 before joining Randy Edsall at UConn in 2009.

Moorhead will be replacing Tom Arth, who lasted just three seasons as the head coach at Akron. Arth came to Akron from Chattanooga and went just 3-24 in his three seasons as the head coach (Akron fired Arth before the end of the 2021 season).

As Moorhead becomes the head coach at Akron, we will have to pay close attention to what coaches he has on his radar to add to his coaching staff. It could potentially include some assistants with previous or current Penn State ties. Moorhead did take a couple of assistants with him to Mississippi State a few years ago, but time will tell if anyone leaves Penn State for a chance to move up in position with the Akron staff.

In the meantime, Penn State is still looking to fill the vacancy at defensive coordinator after Brent Pry left the program to become a head coach at Virginia Tech.


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