Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Defensive Staff Features Three Newcomers for 2016

Dan Mullen has officially filled the remaining gap in his 2016 coaching staff with the formal announcement of Maurice Linguist as safeties coach. Linguist agreed to this position on February 3, as reported on Dawgs’ Bite, and now his hiring is official.

Linguist comes to Mississippi State after two seasons at Iowa State where he was defensive passing game coordinator. He fills the position held by Tony Hughes for Mullen’s seven seasons with the Bulldogs.

“I’m excited to be a part of the tradition that Coach Mullen has established in his tenure here,” Linguist said in a statement provided by MSU media relations. “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.”

The new safeties coach inherits one of the most athletic units on the 2016 spring roster. 13-game starting free safety Kivon Coman and eight-game starting strong safety Brandon Bryant return, as do true sophomores Jamal Peters and Mark McLaurin.

“Maurice is a very sharp person with a bright future in the coaching profession,” Mullen said in the provided statement. “His knowledge of the game is exceptional, while his teaching and communications 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.”

Mullen’s program begins spring practices the first week of March with an almost-all-new defensive staff. Peter Sirmon has been hired away from Southern California as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach; and Terrell Buckley comes from Louisville to take over Bulldog cornerbacks. They join the lone returning coach on this side of the squad with defensive line coach David Turner.

In his two seasons at Iowa State, Linguist coached four defensive backs—two safeties and two cornerbacks—who earned Big XII honors. Before going to Ames, he worked 2012 and ’13 as defensive passing game coordinator at Buffalo with the Bulls earning a Potato Bowl berth in 2013.

Prior to moving up to the FBS level, Linguist was safeties coach three seasons at James Madison with one appearance in the FCS playoffs. Linguist’s first full-time coaching job was at Valdosta State in 2008 with defensive backs and special teams.

The native of Mesquite, Texas is a Baylor alumnus where he was the 2006 team’s defensive MVP as a strong safety and an honorable mention All-Big XII selection. He remained in Waco as a graduate assistant in 2007 working with safeties.

Mullen’s eighth spring session at Mississippi State will begin with a single practice on March 9, prior to University spring break. Practices resume the week of March 21-25 ahead of Easter weekend, and conclude April 16 with the spring game (11:00am, Scott Field). The complete schedule has yet to be released.


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