MSU tabs Grantham as new defensive coordinator


Ben Wait





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STARKVILLE -- For the fourth-straight year, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen will have a new defensive coordinator.



Mullen announced the hiring of Louisville coach Todd Grantham as the new MSU defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Wednesday. He also announced that Peter Sirmon, who became the defensive coordinator last spring and will reportedly take Grantham's spot at Louisville, will not return.


"Todd has proven to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the country this decade," Mullen said in a school release. "He understands what it takes to build a physical and aggressive defense at the highest of levels. We are excited to welcome he and his family to Starkville."


Grantham spent the last three seasons at Louisville, where he served as Bobby Petrino's defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach. Before that, he served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2010-13.


Grantham spent 11 seasons in the NFL between stops with the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2001) as the defensive line coach, the Houston Texans (2002-04) as the defensive line coach, the Cleveland Browns (2005-07) as the defensive coordinator and the Dallas Cowboys (2008-09) as the defensive line coach.


Grantham began his coach career at Virginia Tech. He served at Virginia Tech in multiple roles through the 1995 season. He became the defensive line coach at Michigan State in 1996 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1998.


"When the opportunity to be part of Dan Mullen's staff presented itself it was something my family and I became very excited about," Grantham said in a school release. "Coach Mullen has built a winning program in the most challenging conference in the country. Along with our staff, I look forward to re-establishing the Bulldog defense as one of the top defenses in the country and making the fans of Mississippi State proud."


During his tenure at Louisville, his defense ranked No. 2 in yards allowed per carry. Alabama led the nation in the category.


Grantham becomes the second former Louisville coach Mullen has hired in the last year. He hired Terrell Buckley as his cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator last spring.


Mullen hired an entire new defensive staff last spring with Sirmon, Buckley, Brian Baker as defensive line coach and Maurice Linguist as safeties coach.


Mullen is still looking to hire a new quarterbacks coach, as Brian Johnson was hired as the new Houston offensive coordinator last month.


Follow Dispatch sports writer Ben Wait on Twitter @bcwait



Ben Wait reports on Mississippi State University sports for The Dispatch.


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