Fordham HC Joe Moorhead Heads to Penn State
Joe Moorhead will become the Nittany Lions offensive coordinator. He was 38-13 in his 4 years at the helm of the Rams. (Image : Fordham Athletics)
The Fordham athletic department announced on Saturday that Fordham Football head coach Joe Moorhead would be stepping down from that position as he will be accepting the offensive coordinator position at Penn State University.
In the athletic department’s official statement on fordhamsports.com, Moorhead expressed gratification for his time at Rose Hill. "It was an honor to be able to serve as the head coach at Fordham," said Moorhead. "Not many coaches get to coach at their alma mater and Fordham is a special place. I will always be grateful to the school for giving me the opportunity to lead such a great group of student-athletes."
Penn State also put out an official release, in which Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin welcomed Coach Moorhead to the staff.
"We are very excited to have Joe join our Penn State Football family," Franklin said. "He has distinguished himself as a head coach who made a dramatic impact at Fordham University. His approach and vision offensively is very similar to ours: hard-nosed, blue collar and explosive!”
"We completed an exhaustive search of many candidates and his name kept rising to the top," Franklin continued. "Many factors led to this decision. Joe's makeup as a person and leader is outstanding. He is originally from Pittsburgh and has strong relationships throughout Pennsylvania and the region. He brings invaluable perspective to our staff as a former head coach. Most importantly his offensive production as a coordinator and head coach speaks for itself."
Fordham athletic director David Roach thanked Moorhead for his time as the leader of the Rams. "Joe Moorhead has done a tremendous job with the Fordham football team over the past four years," said Roach. "We owe him a great deal of gratitude for coming in and taking us to the next level. In my 25-plus years working as an athletic director I've worked with some terrific coaches and Joe is at the top of that list. He did a great job leading our student-athletes, both on and off the field, and he leaves the football program in great shape. We wish Joe and his family all the best as they move forward with the next chapter of their lives."
The 2013 Patriot League Coach of the Year just finished his fourth year as the head coach at Fordham, his first head coaching position at the collegiate level. Moorhead’s teams went 38-13 between 2012-2015, including a 9-3 campaign this past season. His 29 wins through his first three years were the most for a Fordham head coach in his first three seasons since 1927. After a 6-5 inaugural season in 2012, a five-win turnaround from the year before, the Rams had back to back seasons of double digit wins under Moorhead in 2013 and 2014. The 2013 season saw the Rams win their first 10 games for the first time in program history on their way to an FCS ranking as high as #5, the Rams’ highest ever ranking during their time in the FCS. In the following season in 2014 the Rams captured their third Patriot League title, going undefeated in the conference, on their way to a 2nd of 3 straight FCS playoff appearances under Moorhead.
Before Moorhead took over, Fordham had never beaten a top 10 team at home, defeated an FBS opponent as an FCS school, or won an FCS playoff game at Jack Coffey Field. Fordham accomplished each of those feats in the 2012 season, defeating #8 Villanova at home in Week 2, taking down FBS opponent Temple on the road the following week, and knocking off Sacred Heart at home in the first round of the playoffs. Moorhead led the team to its 2nd victory over an FBS opponent in 3 years when it defeated Army West Point to open the 2015 season.
The Penn State job will not be Moorhead’s first as an offensive coordinator at the FBS level. Before coming to Fordham, Moorhead served as the offensive coordinator at Connecticut, Akron and Georgetown. Moorhead spent time as both the OC and quarterbacks coach during his time at UConn, served as OC at Akron in the final two years of his 5 year stint as an assistant with the Zips and was the OC for the Hoyas in his last year in the nation’s capitol as an assistant, where he was on the Georgetown staff between 2000-2003.
Moorhead was prolific as an offensive player as well, starting three years at quarterback for the Rams before graduating in 1995. Moorhead finished his senior season with school single-season records for completions and passing yards, ranking 13th nationally in total offense.