Joe Moorhead

How a Target, a mall, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s influenced Joe Moorhead’s decision to come to the Oregon Ducks

How a Target, a mall, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s influenced Joe Moorhead’s decision to come to the Oregon Ducks

A new year and a new era begins this season for Oregon Football. 

The 106th Rose Bowl champs have many questions that need answers throughout the course of spring football and fall camp. One of them was answered two weeks ago with signing Joe Moorhead as the next Oregon Offensive Coordinator. 

[RELATED]: Official: Joe Moorhead hired as Oregon OC

Moorhead comes from Mississippi State where he served as head coach from 2017-2020. 

I've admired Joe [Moorhead]'s offensive philosophy and ability as a play caller from afar, and after meeting with him I was even more impressed. He is a great teacher and communicator, and instills confidence and belief in his players. His offenses have been explosive, balanced, multiple and creative. More importantly, he's a great man, father and husband who our players and staff will enjoy working with. — head coach Mario Cristobal told reporters when Moorhead was hired.

WHY HE CHOSE OREGON

It is a 45-minute drive west to the Oregon coast and a 45-minute drive east to the Cascade Mountain range. In the middle of all that is Eugene, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon.

Moorhead met with the media for the first time on Wednesday morning in Eugene and explained what was it about Oregon that drew him to the program: it was a combination of the landscape and beauty of the state paired with having a shopping mall, a Target, a Whole Foods and a Trader Joe’s, and of course, working for Mario Cristobal.

Professionally, the opportunity to work for Coach Cristobal and the culture he’s created here and a program that has an incredibly upward trajectory. More importantly, I’ve been to four schools and won four conference championships as either coordinator or head coach and I really believe that not only does Oregon have the opportunity to win the Pac-12 but an opportunity to do even greater things. — Joe Moorhead

We always talk about guys who are made of the right stuff, and he’s made of the right stuff. — Mario Cristobal

MOORHEAD’S OUTLOOK ON OREGON’S OFFENSE

A new offensive coordinator brings new ideas, philosophies to the offense. For a team that is searching for it’s next great quarterback, this is arguably good time to implement new ideas. The Ducks have offensive holes to fill this offseason including a big competition at quarterback and four out the five offensive line starters graduated. Good news for Oregon’s offensive is bringing back a majority of the running back room, including the three-headed monster of CJ Verdell, Travis Dye and Cyrus Habibi-Likio as well as just losing Juwan Johnson at wide receiver.

But for most new coaches at any position, it’s about fitting in with the other offensive minds in the room. Sounds like Moorhead is already fitting in nicely with the Ducks’ coaching staff.

I think there is a tremendous group of experience and talented coaches in that offensive staff room. Once I was hired, we sort of hit the ground running from a recruiting standpoint… Once recruiting ended we started discussing football and having offensive staff meetings the past few days. I think there are a bunch of guys who are very smart, very experienced with a bunch of good ideas. — Joe Moorhead

The question that stands is if the system Moorhead runs would fit the existing personnel? What about a pistol offense? 

Right now, we're in the process of going through all the Oregon cut ups from last year, seeing what we like seeing what fits. Then we'll go through the Penn State and Mississippi State stuff, to combine all those great ideas, and certainly pistol was a part of the discussion. -- Joe Moorhead

Speaks volumes to the level of what Coach Cristobal and his staff have recruited here over the past. You’re not looking to rebuild, you’re look to reload. — Joe Moorhead 

The Oregon spring game will be on Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m. (PT) for your first look at the new offensive mind of Joe Moorhead and a good idea of who will be leading the Ducks at quarterback.

Oregon Ducks make final push for 4-star DT Alabama commit Jayson Jones

Oregon Ducks make final push for 4-star DT Alabama commit Jayson Jones

After a massively successful early signing period, Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks are looking to fill the final spots of their 2020 recruiting class with elite talent as they approach National Signing Day this Wednesday.

Their main target? Four-star defensive tackle and Alabama commit Jayson Jones, who declined to sign with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide during the early signing period.

Since then, the 6-foot-6, 340-pound defensive lineman has taken official visits to Baylor and Oregon.

Well, Cristobal and company made their final push Sunday night with an in-home visit, which was tweeted out Monday morning by Jones himself.

Head coach Mario Cristobal, offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and defensive line coach Joe Fagaofe Salave'a all made the trip to try and secure a commitment from the 6'6", 340 pound defensive tackle.

If they can convince Jones to flip from Alabama to Oregon, it'd be further validation of Oregon recruiting with the elites in college football, and would bode well for their defense for years to come.

Given his massive size, Jones would demand double teams in the trenches which would greatly help five-star linebacker signees Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell as they clog up the other lanes. Cristobal has clearly prioritized collecting elite talent and bringing an SEC level of physicality to Eugene. Getting a player like Jones aligns with that philosophy. 

Despite still being considered an Alabama commit, Jones tweeted out last week his final four was Alabama, Oregon, Baylor, and Georgia Tech.

He will announce his decision Wednesday, February 5th at 1:00 PT in the Calera High School Auditorium.

Will Jones flash the "O" on signing day? We'll find out soon enough.

Washington hired the OC that ruined Penn State, Oregon hired who saved Penn State

Washington hired the OC that ruined Penn State, Oregon hired who saved Penn State

Washington and Oregon have both filled their offensive coordinator positions with former Penn State coaches.

Huskies coach Jimmy Lake named John Donovan as his offensive coordinator Friday morning. Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal followed up that announcement naming Joe Moorhead as his offensive coordinator, who coincidentally replaced Donovan in Happy Valley.

Donovan coached under Penn State head coach James Franklin (2011-2013) at both Vanderbilt and Penn State (2014-2015). Following the 2015 season where the Nittany Lions ranked 105th in the country in total offense (348.4 yards) and 100th in points per game (23.2 points), Donovan was fired and replaced by Joe Moorhead. 

Moorhead in his first season as offensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions increased their offensive ranking in every category on their way to winning the Big Ten: 21st in scoring offense (37.6 points) and 50th in total offense (435.6). One season later the Nittany Lions shot up to sixth in scoring offense (37.6 points) and 19th in total offense (460.3 yards). Both seasons Moorhead's offense broke Penn State school records for scoring offense and total offense.

After Washington made the announcement, many Penn State fans sent their condolences to Husky fans.

It's never a good sign when the fanbase for a coach's prior stop has this reaction to him getting another coaching job. However, it seems warranted in this case.

In Donovan's last five seasons as an offensive coordinator at the college level (Vanderbilt and Penn State) his offenses ranked at best 82nd in the country in total offense: 98th, 82nd, 93rd, 114th, and 105th. Huskies coach Jimmy Lake even indirectly references his putrid offenses in his statement welcoming him to the program.

"Coach Donovan has a great deal of experience at both the college and NFL levels, learning from a lot of great offensive minds about coaching the kind of aggressive, pro-style offense we want to play here at Washington," Lake said. "From my own experience, I know how much a coach can learn and grow by spending significant time in the NFL. I'm excited for him to get to Seattle and get started."

Meanwhile, the Ducks hired an offensive coordinator who ran the seventh-ranked scoring offense the last time he was an offensive coordinator. Granted, his offenses as Mississippi State head coach were also lackluster, 71st and 74th in total offense his two seasons as Bulldogs head coach, before getting fired this month. But he was much more successful more recently than Donovan and may have lacked weapons at Mississippi State. A problem he won't have in Eugene given how great of a recruiter Cristobal has been.

It's always possible that Donovan kills it and Moorhead flops at Oregon making this whole article look silly, but given the information available today there's no way you can think Oregon didn't make the better hire. 

OFFICIAL: Joe Moorhead hired as Oregon OC

OFFICIAL: Joe Moorhead hired as Oregon OC

One week after news broke that former Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead was expected to take over for Marcus Arroyo in Eugene, it's official.

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal revealed last week he wanted to hire an offensive coordinator "within the week," and the Moorhead news broke later that night from Stadium's Brett McMurphy. 

"The search for our next offensive coordinator was extensive and drew interest from coaches at all levels from around the country," Cristobal said. "It was a thorough process, because we wanted to not only get the best coach for the University of Oregon, but also the best fit for our student-athletes and coaches. I'm fired up to welcome Joe, his wife Jennifer, daughter Kyra and sons Mason and Donovan, to Eugene and our football family."

"I've admired Joe [Moorhead]'s offensive philosophy and ability as a play caller from afar, and after meeting with him I was even more impressed. He is a great teacher and communicator, and instills confidence and belief in his players. His offenses have been explosive, balanced, multiple and creative. More importantly, he's a great man, father and husband who our players and staff will enjoy working with."

According to Matt Prehm of DuckTerritory.com, Moorhead has signed a two-year contract that will pay him $900,000 annually.  Arroyo was set to make $850,000 this upcoming season.

Moorhead interviewed for the job the weekend prior to the news breaking and must have made an impression to be hired so shortly afterwards. 

"I'm extremely excited and very appreciative of Coach Cristobal for this opportunity," Moorhead said. "I'm looking forward to helping build on the great success the program has already had and I can't wait to experience game day in Autzen Stadium."

The former Bulldogs head coach was a late addition to the candidate list as he was fired after the Bulldogs' bowl game following just his second season replacing current Florida head coach Dan Mullens. His offense as Mississippi State head coach were also lackluster, 71st and 74th in total offense, but he excelled his last time as an assistant coach at Penn State.

In his first season as offensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, Moorhead won the Big Ten and placed 21st in scoring offense (37.6 points) and 50th in total offense (435.6) nationally. They also shattered then-school records for total offense (6,056), passing yards (3,650) and points scored (526). Sports Illustrated and Yahoo both named Joe Moorhead the nation's No. 1 rising assistant coach in August 2017 ahead of his sophomore season in Happy Valley.

In his second season, the Nittany Lions shot up to seventh in scoring offense (41.1 points) and 19th in total offense (460.3 yards), once again setting school records. Given the weapons Oregon has on offense returning and joining the program, Moorhead should be able to do some damage.

Juwan Johnson, who played for Moorhead while at Penn State, approved of the hire two weeks ago when it was rumored.

Report: Joe Moorhead expected to be hired as Oregon Ducks OC

Report: Joe Moorhead expected to be hired as Oregon Ducks OC

Mario Cristobal said this week they want to hire an offensive coordinator to replace Marcus Arroyo "within the week".

He wasn't kidding and it appears they have their man.

According to the Stadium's Brett McMurphy, Mario Cristobal is expected to hire former Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead to become the new offensive coordinator.

Moorhead interviewed for the job this past weekend and must have made an impression to be hired so shortly after.

The former Bulldogs head coach was a late addition to the candidate list as he was fired after the Bulldogs' bowl game following just his second season replacing current Flordia head coach Dan Mullens. His offense as Mississippi State head coach were also lackluster, 71st and 74th in total offense, but he excelled his last time as an assistant coach at Penn State.

Iin his first season as offensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, Moorhead won the Big Ten and placed 21st in scoring offense (37.6 points) and 50th in total offense (435.6) nationally. One season later the Nittany Lions shot up to sixth in scoring offense (37.6 points) and 19th in total offense (460.3 yards). Given the weapons Oregon has on offense returning and joining the program, Moorhead should be able to do some damage.

Juwan Johnson, who played for Moorhead while at Penn State, approved of the hire last week when it was rumored. 

On Monday, Cristobal spoke about what he's looking for in an offensive coordinator.

It has to hit on all cylinders in terms of, not only a guy that's a great X's and O's guy, not only a guy that can recruit really well. It has to be a great person. It has to fit the culture, has to be bought in completely. It has to be something that really generates the same type of momentum that we're generating and is completely in. -- Cristobal

Oregon also interviewed Notre Dame quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees (who got promoted to OC at Notre Dame), Los Angeles Rams offensive assistant Jedd Fisch and Tulsa offensive coordinator Will Hall.

This will be the second coordinator Cristobal has hired after replacing defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt with then-Boise State defensive coordinator Andy Avalos. The result was a stout defense that ranked 21st in the nation in total defense and led the conference in sacks and tackles-for-loss.