STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Andrew Breiner, the former head coach at Fordham, has been named Mississippi State’s pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, head coach Joe Moorhead announced on Wednesday.
Breiner compiled a 12-10 record as the head coach at Fordham the past two seasons, including an 8-3 mark in his first year. The eight victories were the most for a first-year head coach in the modern Fordham era. Breiner was promoted to head coach after Moorhead departed to Penn State as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2015.
“Andrew is one of the bright, up-and-coming coaches in college football,” Moorhead said. “He has a firm grasp of our offensive philosophy with his background as a head coach and as an assistant coach. He’s someone who is going to be a tremendous asset for our program and our players in their development. He’s also innovative and will do an outstanding job of teaching the game.”
Breiner and Moorhead have worked closely for seven years as the two formed an explosive offense in the Bronx. Breiner was Moorhead’s offensive coordinator at Fordham from 2012-15, and he was Moorhead’s offensive graduate assistant at Connecticut for three seasons prior.
“Kelly and I are thrilled to be a part of the Mississippi State family,” Breiner said. “Having worked with Joe at Fordham and UConn, we know the type of man and leader he is. It’s a privilege to join his staff here, and we look forward to bringing continued success to the Bulldog program. I am also extremely excited to get to work with our talented quarterback room. The success of Mississippi State quarterbacks has been well-documented and is something we want to continue going forward.”
Under Breiner’s tutelage in 2016, Fordham ranked fourth in the FCS in both total offense (498.2) and scoring offense (40.1). The Rams were also 10th nationally and second in the Patriot League in passing efficiency that season (156.0).
The 2016 Rams were commanded by consensus All-American running back Chase Edmonds, who finished fourth in voting for the 2016 Walter Payton Award, presented to the NCAA FCS offensive player of the year. Edmonds led the FCS in rushing yards per game (163.5), and he was second in total rushing yards as well as ranking second in all-purpose yards per game (194.6) and third in rushing touchdowns.
As Moorhead’s offensive coordinator from 2012-15, Fordham ranked in the Top 10 of the FCS in nearly every category. In 2015, the Rams led the Patriot League and were ninth nationally in scoring (36.8). They led the league and were second in the FCS in passing efficiency (168.30).
Two members of the 2015 Fordham offense earned All-America honors, including running back Chase Edmonds and lineman Garrick Mayweather, Jr. Edmonds was also named the 2015 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year.
In 2014, the Fordham offense enjoyed another record-breaking season under Breiner’s watch with seven offensive players earning All-America honors and 10 receiving All-Patriot League accolades. Quarterback Mike Nebrich was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The 2014 Rams offense set school-record marks for rushing yards (2,353), points (569) and rushing touchdowns (31). Freshman running back Chase Edmonds did most of the damage on the ground, gaining 1,838 yards with 23 touchdowns, both school records.
That same year under Moorhead and Breiner, Fordham ranked fourth nationally in passing offense (326.1), fifth in scoring offense (40.6)), third in team passing efficiency (156.2), seventh in total offense (494.1) and ninth in first downs (331). For the second straight year, Fordham had a 1,000 rusher (Edmonds) and three 1,000-yard receivers (Brian Wetzel, Tebucky Jones, Jr., and Sam Ajala).
In 2013, Breiner’s passing unit saw unparalleled success as it led the FCS in pass completion percentage (.706) with quarterback Mike Nebrich, the 2013 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. Fordham ranked first in the nation in pass completion percentage (.735) and total offense (376.4), and they were second in passing efficiency (171.3), third in passing yards (336.9), third passing touchdowns (35) and third in completions per game (27.15). Nebrich set school single season records for completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns.
With the success of the passing game came recognition of the Fordham wide receivers as Sam Ajala was named All-America and First Team All-Patriot League as was tight end Dan Light, while Tebucky Jones, Jr., and Brian Wetzel were both named Second Team All-Patriot League. Ajala set school records for most receiving yards in a season (1,646) and tied the record with 14 receiving touchdowns (as did Wetzel) while Light set the mark for most receptions in a season by a tight end (66).
In 2012, Breiner led a Fordham offense that ranked second in the Patriot League in scoring offense (31.2 ppg), passing offense (279.6 yards/game) and total offense (435.7 yards/game). Additionally, the Rams were ranked 18th in the FCS in passing offense as quarterback Ryan Higgins threw for 2,940 yards, the fourth-best single season for a Fordham quarterback in school history.
At Connecticut, Breiner worked with the offensive staff in all phases of research and development, coaching and game planning as well as working individually with the quarterbacks and wide receivers in 2009 and 2010. He worked with the quarterbacks and running backs in 2011 and also had special teams responsibilities with the kickoff and kickoff return units.
Breiner was part of the staff that helped the Huskies to the 2010 BIG EAST championship and an appearance in the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In 2010, UConn appeared in the PapaJohns.com Bowl and received the Lambert Trophy, presented annually to the best team in the Northeast in Division I FBS college football.
Prior to his stay at UConn, Breiner was an assistant coach at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., for two seasons. He worked with the quarterbacks in 2008 and the wide receivers in 2007. He began his coaching career in 2006 at Lock Haven University, when he sustained a career-ending injury midway through his senior year and began working with the wide receivers.
A Dean’s List student, Breiner graduated in 2006 from Lock Haven University with a degree in health and physical education. He was a four-year letter winner with the Bald Eagles as a wide receiver and also played special teams. Breiner won a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award from the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the NFF for his accomplishments athletically, academically and in the community.
Breiner and his wife, Kelly, are the parents of a three-year-old daughter, Abigail.
The Andrew Breiner File
Hometown: Hummelstown, Pa.
Education: Lock Haven University, 2006 (B.S. Health and Physical Education)
2017-present: Mississippi State (Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach)
2016-17: Fordham (Head Coach)
2012-15: Fordham (Quarterbacks Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Pass Game Coordinator)
2011: Connecticut (Graduate Assistant/Quarterbacks & Running Backs)
2009-10: Connecticut (Graduate Assistant/Quarterbacks & Wide Receivers)
2008: Alleghany College (Quarterbacks)
2007: Alleghany College (Wide Receivers)
2006: Lock Haven University (Wide Receivers)
Bowl Games/Playoff Games as a Coach
2015: FCS First Round (Fordham)
2014: FCS First, Second Round (Fordham)
2013: FCS First, Second Round (Fordham)
2011: Fiesta Bowl (Connecticut)
2010: PapaJohns.com Bowl (Connecticut)