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Recently hired Syracuse football defensive coordinator leaving for job at Mississippi State

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse University football program is again in the market for a defensive coordinator.

Zach Arnett, the former defensive coordinator for San Diego State University whom Syracuse had hired Jan. 11, has decided to accept another offer from Mississippi State University of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Syracuse University Director of Athletics John Wildhack on Wednesday issued the following statement about Arnett.

“We are disappointed that Zach Arnett has decided not to honor the commitment he made to Syracuse University. We will continue to work diligently to find the best defensive coach for our program.”

“I couldn’t pass up the chance to join an SEC program like Mississippi State,” Arnett said in a Mississippi State news release posted online. “I am grateful to Coach [Mike] Leach and [Director of Athletics] John Cohen for the opportunity to be a part of this first-class institution. Mississippi State has a history of great defenses. The staff Coach Leach has assembled is tremendous, and I can’t wait to get down there and get to work.”

Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers announced the hiring of Arnett as defensive coordinator on Jan. 11. In the news release announcing the hire, Syracuse described Arnett as “one of the brightest, young defensive coaches in the college ranks.”

“My family and I would like thank Coach Babers for this tremendous opportunity,” Arnett said in that Jan. 10 news release. “He’s someone I have the utmost respect for and his philosophy of developing the whole student-athlete — not just the football player — is one I believe in strongly. Syracuse is an outstanding place with a great football tradition. I’m excited to be part of it. I can’t wait to get to Central New York and get started.”

Babers had earlier fired defensive coordinator Brian Ward after the Orange’s 58-27 loss to Boston College last November and replaced him with defensive ends coach Steve Stanard on an interim basis. 

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