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Sources: Oregon coordinator Joe Moorhead top candidate for Akron head coaching job

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  • Joe Moorhead
    Joe Moorhead
    American football coach

Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has emerged as the leading candidate to be the next head coach at Akron, according to sources. A deal could be finalized within the next 24 hours.

Moorhead spent five years as an assistant coach at Akron from 2004-2008, including the school’s only MAC football championship in 2005 and two seasons as offensive coordinator.

Moorhead, 48, is considered one of the most creative and innovative offensive minds in the country. He also brings extensive head coaching experience, as he led Mississippi State to a pair of bowl games in 2018 and 2019, and Fordham to three straight FCS playoff appearances during his four seasons there.

The combination of Moorhead’s roots with Akron and his head coaching experience made him an attractive candidate. Akron athletic director Charles Guthrie focused on FBS coaching experience as a tenet for Akron’s new coach after firing Tom Arth, who went 3-24 in three seasons.

Nov 28, 2019; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Joe Moorhead stands on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Moorhead led Mississippi State to two bowls in two seasons in Starkville. (Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports)

The hiring of Moorhead would offer instant credibility for Akron, who has finished with a record above .500 just once since that 2005 MAC title team. Moorhead called plays for Saquon Barkley at Penn State, was the offensive coordinator on UConn’s Fiesta Bowl team and his Oregon team gutted Ohio State’s defense for 505 yards and 35 points in an upset in Columbus earlier this season.

Oregon is averaging 33.2 points per game this year and ranks No. 3 nationally in third-down conversion percentage.

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