A Q&A With MSU Football GA Angelo Mirando

Here is a Q&A with Mississippi State football graduate assistant Angelo Mirando that I did on June 30, 2009. He has taken over coaching wide receivers until a ful-ltime wide receiver coach is hired. This interview will give you information about his background and how he wound up at Mississippi State.

Where were you born and raised?
"I was born in Elyria, Ohio. It's located on the west side of Cleveland. But I was raised in Jefferson, Ohio, which is a tiny town in the northeast."

Where did you go to high school?
"I went to high school at Jefferson Area High School. I played quarterback there."

Did you play college ball?
"Yeah, I played my college ball at a division-III school, Case Western Reserve University. At the time I wanted to be a stock broker or something similar to that."

How did you wind up a coach instead of a stockbroker?
"At the start of my junior year in college I made the decision that I didn't want to do anything in business. My dad always said to do what you love. I love football and felt like I could be a good coach so I researched it and decided that's what I wanted to do.

"There are a lot of division-I schools in Ohio. And I started writing them letters, meeting people and going from there. I was just trying to get my foot in the door.

"What ended up happening is (Florida head football) Coach Urban Meyer is from my hometown. And a friend of a friend called Florida's Director of Football Operations, John Clark, and told him about me and that I could help them out. John said sure. So, I got in touch with John and he made it very clear that I would be his intern and that I wouldn't be making any money. I would be there for the summer and help him out and learn. I told him great.

"(While at Florida) I got to know Coach (Dan) Mullen and he started giving me stuff to do. I was kind of like a gofer. I ended up working the quarterback camp with Coach Mullen, and I got close to him.

"I talked to John Clark and told him I would like to be a (graduate assistant) for them. He told me I had a job (after I graduated). I would be the off-the-field (graduate assistant). I then went back and finished my senior year of playing. I kept in contact with Coach Mullen, John and the other GAs. I graduated early, in December, then contacted them.

"I went to the coaches convention in Anaheim (CA) in January, 2008 and met Coach Mullen there. He asked me when I was coming (back) down (to Florida) and I told him next week. I ended up flying back (home) and driving back (to Florida) and started working. My title at Florida was Offensive Quality Control. I was one of the off-the-field graduate assistants which meant I was basically doing administrative things. One of my main responsibilities was doing Coach Mullen tips sheets.

"Then, a week after Coach Mullen got the Mississippi State job he called me. He told me he wanted me to come to Starkville and be their on-the-field graduate assistant coach. He said I had done a good job for him and deserved the promotion.

"We were getting ready to play for the national championship so we weren't going to talk about it until after that game. Coach Meyer even told me that. He said Coach Mullen was going to call me but he didn't want me to be distracted from the game. And really I didn't know if I was going to come anyway because I didn't know anything about Mississippi State.

"We won the national championship and after the game I told Coach Mullen I would see him in two days. He said great."

Why did you decide to take the job at Mississippi State?
"There were several reasons. First, I already knew the staff at Florida. By coming here, I get to know an entire new staff (and make more contacts). And if I had stayed at Florida I would have been doing the same thing I was doing before. Here, I get to coach on the field and have more responsibilities."

Who will you be working for at Mississippi State?
"I am working for Coach (Les) Koenning and helping him with the quarterbacks. I am responsible for all the film breakdown. We just turned in the scouting reports for our first three opponents. And we had to break down every game of Jackson State, Vanderbilt and Auburn."

How long does it take to break down a game?
"The biggest thing is seeing what they do on defense. The first couple of games take a couple of hours. But once you know what they do on defense it normally takes about 45 minutes."

What else will you do, especially during the season?
"During the season I will also be running the scout team. I will make sure their cards are drawn up, make sure they are giving the right looks to the offense."

What are your long term goals as a coach?
"I don't really think about that much. What I want to do is the best job I can right now. That's all I'm focusing on. And if we win games here, everybody on the staff will be taken care of."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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