With less than two weeks to go before a season-opener there are many things a fan doesn’t want to hear:
* A star player has been injured in practice.
* A star player has been arrested out on the town.
* A star player is going to drug rehab (LSU).
* A freshman has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA (many, with Auburn being the latest).
One thing that doesn’t go through a fan’s mind is the possibility that an assistant coach might up and quit. But that’s just what Mississippi State fans are coming to grips with today. Receivers coach Angelo Mirando resigned his position on Dan Mullen’s staff yesterday… with the Bulldogs just 13 — now 12 — days away from their opener with Jackson State.
A statement was released by MSU yesterday. In it, Mirando cited “unforeseen personal issues” as his reason for departing:
“I have enjoyed my time at Mississippi State as a graduate assistant and as an assistant coach. I have made friends that will last a lifetime; however, due to unforeseen personal issues, I believe it is in my best interest to resign from Mississippi State. I want to stress that these issues are personal. I look forward to pursuing other opportunities in the future. Finally, I want to thank my friend and mentor Dan Mullen for giving me this chance.”
Odd? You bet. And when a team spokesperson was asked if legal or family issues brought about the resignation, the response was simply: “Personal reasons.”
Here’s Mullen’s portion of the statement regarding the exit of a coach who moved up from the GA ranks just last year:
“We appreciate Angelo and the work he did, and wish him the best in wherever the future takes him. We’ll take some time to evaluate what our next steps will be with that staff position, but I’m confident in our veteran group of wide receivers and know they’ll be focused and ready to go Sept. 1.”
A last-minute curveball like this would be a hit to any team, but it could be particularly troublesome for State. The Bulldogs — with Tyler Russell at quarterback — are expected to become a pass-first team in 2012. But, on the bright side, the Bulldogs will be lead by four seniors at the wideout position, so if anyone’s going to be able to deal with a twist like this, they should be able to.
On the recruiting front, Mirando had five receivers committed to MSU as of last night.