Mississippi State

Mississippi State hires 4th defensive coordinator in 5 years

Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been hired to the same position at Mississippi State. Peter Sirmon lasted just one season as MSU’s defensive coordinator, but he will replace Grantham at Louisville.
Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been hired to the same position at Mississippi State. Peter Sirmon lasted just one season as MSU’s defensive coordinator, but he will replace Grantham at Louisville. AP

Coach Dan Mullen has made yet another change at defensive coordinator.

Mississippi State has hired Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to the same position, it was announced on Wednesday. He will also coach linebackers.

“Todd has proven to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the country this decade,” Mullen said in a press 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.”

Peter Sirmon is out after just one year running the MSU defense, but he will replace Grantham at Louisville. Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino announced Sirmon’s hiring Wednesday night.

Grantham is MSU’s fourth new defensive coordinator in the last five years and seventh hire in nine seasons, joining Manny Diaz (two tenures), Chris Wilson, Geoff Collins and Carl Torbush.

Grantham is a well-traveled coordinator who has led defenses with the Cleveland Browns (2005 to 2007), Dallas Cowboys (2008 and 2009), Georgia (2010 to 2013) and Louisville (2014 to 2016).

MSU’s porous defense in 2016 prompted the change. The Bulldogs ranked 93rd nationally in scoring defense (31.8 points allowed per game) and 110th in total defense (459.1 yards per game). Louisville was 31st in scoring defense (23.8) and 14th in total defense (322.2).

“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 press 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.”

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

Grantham’s coaching experience

2014 to 2016: Louisville (defensive coordinator and linebackers coach)

2012 and 2013: Georgia (associate head coach, defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach)

2010 and 2011: Georgia (defensive coordinator and linebackers coach)

2008 and 2009: Dallas Cowboys (defensive line coach)

2005 to 2007: Cleveland Browns (defensive coordinator)

2002 to 2004: Houston Texans (defensive line coach)

1999 to 2001: Indianapolis Colts (defensive line coach)

1998: Michigan State (assistant head coach and defensive line coach)

1996 and 1997: Michigan State (defensive line coach)

1994 and 1995: Virginia Tech (defensive line coach)

1992 and 1993: Virginia Tech (defensive tackles coach)

1990 and 1991: Virginia Tech (defensive ends and linebackers coach)

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