The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog can confirm via multiple sources Les Koenning, Mississippi State offensive coordinator from 2009-13, has agreed to become the new wide receivers coach at Texas.
January 15, 2014 11:36:32 AM
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State has lost another longtime assistant coach to its football staff.
Multiple sources close to the MSU football program have confirmed to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog that MSU offensive coordinator Les Koenning is headed to Texas to become the Longhorns new wide receivers coach.
Multiple media outlets reported Koenning's hiring to Texas Tuesday evening and Horns247, the 247Sports.com affiliate for Texas, reported Koenning was expected to inform some MSU players of the move Wednesday. Multiple sources close to the program confirmed to The Dispatch Koenning has informed personnel at MSU that he will no longer be part of the Bulldogs coaching staff.
Koenning, a Houston native, played at Texas and began his coaching career in Austin as a graduate assistant with the Longhorns in 1981.
In just four short years, Koenning's offense has nearly doubled the average number of points scored (15.2 ppg in 2008; 29.5 in 2012) and has developed the MSU offense into an attack that has never been seen in Starkville. The last three seasons marked the highest combined three-year offensive output in school history (14,825 yards), breaking almost every single offensive school record in the process.
During the 2012 season, Koenning led the MSU passing attack to four different school records through the air: passing yardage, completion percentage, completions and touchdowns. With the success of the MSU passing attack something Starkville has never seen, the Buldogs offense also set a school record in points scored (383).
Koenning was expected to continue his quarterback development with Dak Prescott, who is expected to start his first full season behind center in the 2014 season.
"I've been around this game and a lot of programs in this business over the years but I don't remember winning football games with three different quarterbacks," Koenning said in a phone interview on Jan. 1. "The guys on this team gravitate to (Prescott) and know he's the leader on and off the field."
Koenning, 54, has spent the last 16 years of his career as a offensive coordinator starting at Duke in 1998 before stops at Houston (1999), TCU (2000), Alabama (2001-03) and Texas A&M (2003-2007) and South Alabama (2008). The last time Koenning was a position coach was 1997 when he was an assistant with the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
Texas named Louisville head coach Charlie Strong its successor to Mack Brown 10 days ago and Strong has quickly been putting a staff together since that time. Strong brought his offensive coordinator Shawn Watson with him from Louisville and Koenning will join a staff that includes Southern California running backs coach Tommie Robinson, Oklahoma State offensive line coach and running game coordinator Joe Wickline and Texas tight end coach Bruce Chambers.
With Koenning and strength coach Matt Balis now gone this offseason, only three members of Mullen's initial coaching staff in 2009 are left today: tight ends coach Scott Sallach, offensive line coach John Hevesy and safeties coach Tony Hughes.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen came to a agreement Tuesday with its new strength and conditioning coach as Bulldogs football program hired Ohio State associate director for football strength and conditioning Rick Court.
Court is in his 13th year working in the area of strength and conditioning after two seasons with the Buckeyes program under head football coach Urban Meyer. Court spent the spent the 2011-12 campaign as the football strength and conditioning coach at San Diego State. Court, who has four years of experience running a strength and conditioning department, helped the Aztecs to an 8-5 record and a berth in the New Orleans Bowl in 2011.
Prior to his position at SDSU, Court was the director of football strength and conditioning for two years at the University of Toledo (2009 and 2010) under current Illinois coach Tim Beckman. During his final season at Toledo, the Rockets went 8-5 on the gridiron and played in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
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