MURRAY – The Murray State University Board of Regents voted to extend the contracts of head football coach Dean Hood and his staff. The assistant coaching staff received extensions through December of 2022, while Hood’s contract has been extended through 2024, further strengthening the institution’s commitment to a football program that consistently competes for OVC Championships.
Murray State Football completed its best regular season in nearly two decades during the spring 2020 season, going 5-2 in OVC play, in addition to notching a winning record for the first time since 2011. Murray State’s 5-0 start was its best since the 1995 season and its second place OVC finish was the best since 2004. In addition, after a near 10-year drought, Hood led the Racers to six consecutive appearances in both major FCS Top 25 polls, finishing 17th in the AFCA Coaches’ poll and 18th in the STATS poll. This marks the first time since 2002 that Murray State has appeared in either of the final regular-season polls.
On the field, the Racers placed a renewed emphasis on the run this season, averaging 141.9 yards per game on the ground, the highest per game total for an MSU team since 2013. The Murray State offensive line also made significant strides this season by allowing just five sacks, or 0.7 sacks per game. This season’s average represents a decrease of 1.9 sacks per game compared to the 2.6 average of the last five seasons.
MSU’s defense made a huge impact this past season by tallying 11 interceptions and three fumble recoveries for a total of 14 forced turnovers, leading directly to six touchdowns, including four by the defense, and one field goal. While the defense excelled at taking the ball away, the offense excelled at protecting it. The Racers threw just five interceptions and lost two fumbles this season for 1.0 turnover per game, the lowest average in MSU history and second-best in the OVC this year.
MSU averaged just 50.4 penalty yards per game for the seventh lowest average in modern statistical history (since 1994) and the second lowest in the OVC this season.
Following the season, Dean Hood became the fourth coach in MSU history to be named OVC Coach of the Year. He joins Boots Donnely (AP, MTSU) as one of only two OVC coaches to win the award at two different institutions, after previously earning the award in 2008 at Eastern Kentucky. In addition, he was also named as the AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year, as well as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year award.