Mississippi State

Mississippi State hires Linguist as safeties coach


Former Iowa State assistant coach Maurice Linguist has been named Mississippi State football safeties coach, head coach Dan Mullen announced Thursday.

Linguist, 31, comes to Starkville with four years of NCAA FBS assistant coaching experience, including the last two seasons as the Cyclones' defensive passing game coordinator.

"Maurice is a very sharp person with a bright future in the coaching profession," Mullen said. "His knowledge of the game is exceptional, while his teaching and communication skills will resonate well with our players. We are happy to have him in Starkville and look forward to the impact he will make on our team."

"I am excited to be a part of the tradition that Coach Mullen has established in his tenure here at Mississippi State," Linguist said. "It's a privilege to be a Bulldog, to coach in the Southeastern Conference and to mentor the dynamic safeties we have on this team."

In 2015, Linguist mentored freshman cornerback Brian Peavy, who earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and was a finalist for Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Peavy led the Cyclones in tackles with 82 - second-among Big 12 freshmen - and he was tops among conference freshmen in passes defended with 12. That figure also ranked second nationally among FBS freshmen. Senior safety Qujuan Floyd was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection on Linguist's unit as well.

Although his squad was young in 2014, Linguist tutored a pair of underclassmen to All-Big 12 recognition. Free safety Kamari Cotton-Moya was named the Big 12's Defensive Freshman of the Year and sophomore cornerback Nigel Tribune was a second-team All-Big 12 selection by the Associated Press.

Linguist spent the previous two seasons as the defensive passing game coordinator at Buffalo (2012-13). He was a key contributor in Buffalo's 8-5 record, a second-place finish in the MAC East (6-2) and an appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2013. The Bulls were solid on defense, especially in the secondary as they ranked second in the MAC with 15 interceptions. Buffalo was also second in the league in scoring defense (24.4) and total defense (382.8).

Prior to his stint at Buffalo, Linguist spent three years at James Madison, coaching the safeties, and helping the Dukes to an 8-4 regular season record and a second round appearance in the NCAA FCS Playoffs. In addition, The Sports Network selected the James Madison 2012 recruiting class as the best in the nation (FCS).

Linguist also served as defensive backs and special teams coach at Valdosta (Ga.) State, helping the program to a 9-3 record and a ranking of No. 12 in Division II in 2008.

Linguist, a native of Mesquite, Texas, began his coaching career at his alma mater of Baylor, tutoring strong safeties and rover backs as a graduate assistant in 2007. As a senior at Baylor in 2006, he was the team's defensive most valuable player as a strong safety, an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection and an academic All-Big 12 honoree.