Mississippi State football players exuberantly carried
athletic director Zac Selmon on their shoulders. The maroon and white faithful clang their cowbells at George M. Bryan Airport, while the band played the hits commonly heard at Davis Wade Stadium.
The gathering celebrated the arrival of MSU’s newly appointed football coach, former Oklahoma
offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby.
“It’s humbling,” Lebby told the crowd. “I just absolutely love the fact that I’m going to get to go to work every single day at a place that has so much passion and such care and such toughness about playing football. I love the fact that there’s incredible support. There has been great players here for a long time. We’ve got great players here right now. I can’t wait to get around the guys.”
With wife Staley, daughter Kora and son Kane by his side on a maroon carpet rolled out at MSU’s private plane, Lebby received his first look at the fan base he inherited.
After a 5-7 season, which led to former
coach Zach Arnett being fired after the 10th game of his tenure, Mississippi State fans hunger for a winning team and an exciting product. The Bulldogs finished last in the SEC with 21.8 points per game, while Oklahoma, in its second season with Lebby calling plays, finished third in the nation with 43.2 points per game.
“People understand what we’ve done in the past,” he said. “We’re going to be a football team that scores a bunch of points.”
His remarks were cut off momentarily as the cowbells started to ring, a symbol of unwavering support from the fans.
“We’re going to put a very exciting brand of football for everybody who is so passionate about the game of football here at State,” Lebby continued. “You guys are going to be incredibly proud of what’s happening on Saturday afternoons at Davis Wade. That’s a promise.”
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When asked why MSU is the right fit for him, Lebby said, “For a long time, State was a great, cool, awesome place to go to school… Cool is State. Swag is State.”
Lebby’s welcome to Starkville will continue into Monday. He will be introduced at 7:30 p.m. CT outside the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex, with a news conference to follow.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger:
Coach Jeff Lebby given hero’s welcome by Mississippi State football
Alex Martin is your guide to the global phenomenon of football. With a focus on international leagues and tournaments, he provides match commentary, player interviews, and behind-the-scenes stories from the world of football.