2. Jamey Chadwell, Liberty head coach
Jamey Chadwell is the classic up-and-coming head coaching candidate. He’s won at every level, up to his current stop at Liberty, so why not see if the momentum will continue up into a Power Five job?
Chadwell is 108-57 in his coaching career. He went 22-14 from 2009-2011 at North Greenville, 35-14 at Charleston Southern, 39-22 at Coastal Carolina, and in his first season at Liberty, he’s led the Flames to a 9-0 start.
This type of hire is a direction that Mississippi State hasn’t gone in this century. Leach was a longtime Power Five head coach, Joe Moorhead had been a Power Five offensive coordinator at Penn State, Mullen the same at Florida, and Sylvester Croom had been a longtime NFL assistant after starting his career coaching various position groups at Alabama in the 70s and 80s.
Chadwell could be a candidate who hits the ground running in a way no one has at this program in a long time. There’s less of a scouting report on him from other coaches in the league than any of his predecessors.
There has been a sense of safety in a lot of Mississippi State’s coaching hires, but safety won’t win in Starkville. The same take-a-shot spirit that brought in Leach could lead to a Chadwell hire. There’s a different regime in charge, but they’d be well-advised to take a chance on a coach who is unproven at the Power Five level.