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Mullen Will Have All-New Defensive Staff for 2016; Spring Camp Opens March 9

Just when the 2016 staff seemed settled, Dan Mullen has another hire to make. And on the defensive side of roster, too.

Defensive line coach David Turner has accepted an offer to coach that position at Texas A&M. He leaves Mississippi State after two tours with the Bulldogs. Turner worked in 2007-08 for Coach Sylvester Croom, and remained on staff in 2009 for Coach Dan Mullen’s first year.

Turner joined friend Joker Phillips at Kentucky for three seasons, then when the Wildcat staff was replaced he returned to Mississippi State in 2013. Now he will remain in the SEC West, and in maroon and white for that matter. But it will be working for Kevin Sumlin in College Station.

Turner’s name has been a frequent topic of speculation since the 2015 Bulldogs ended their season, linked to possible openings such as South Carolina. That never panned-out and Turner remained on the job in Starkville through the winter recruiting campaign.

He also stayed through the turnover of the rest of the defensive staff. Then the offers started coming and after talking with Oklahoma—which reportedly offered him a job—he interviewed with Sumlin. Turner reportedly informed Mullen early this morning he had accepted that offer.

This will be Turner’s 12th college program to work with in a coaching career that began in 1986. Six of those stops, for a total 16 seasons, have been spent in the SEC at Kentucky (twice), Vanderbilt, Alabama, and Mississippi State (twice).

Mullen has already replaced the rest of the defensive staff from 2015. Peter Sirmon has taken over as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach; Terrell Buckley is the new cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator; and Maurice Linguist will coach safeties.

The pressure is on to replace Turner quickly, as spring football practices begin with a single session on March 9 before the school spring break the next week. Practices resume March 19 through the 22nd and the short Easter holiday.

The full schedule for spring including a pair of Saturday scrimmages is to be released this week.

Listing Mississippi State’s assistant staff for Mullen's eight years, by positions and with promotions along the way:

2009 – Les Koenning offensive coordinator/quarterbacks; Carl Torbush defensive coordinator/linebackers; John Hevesy offensive line; Greg Knox running backs; Tony Hughes safeties; Scott Sallach tight ends; David Turner defensive line; Mark Hudspeth wide receivers; Melvin Smith cornerbacks.


2010 – Manny Diaz defensive coordinator/linebackers; Chris Wilson defensive line/assistant coordinator. Replaced Torbush, Turner.


2011 – Chris Wilson promoted to defensive coordinator/line; Geoff Collins co-defensive coordinator/linebackers; Angelo Mirando wide receivers. Replaced Diaz, Hudspeth.


2012 – Tim Brewster wide receivers. Replaced Mirando.


2013 – Geoff Collins promoted to defensive coordinator/linebackers; Billy Gonzales wide receivers; David Turner defensive line; Deshea Townsend cornerbacks. Replaced Wilson, Brewster, Smith.


2014 – Brian Johnson quarterbacks; Hevesy promoted to co-offensive coordinator, Gonzales promoted to co-offensive coordinator; Knox adds special teams coordinator. Replaced Koenning.


2015 – Manny Diaz defensive coordinator/linebackers. Replaced Collins.

2016 -- Peter Sirmon defensive coordinator/linebackers. Replaced Diaz. Terrell Buckley cornerbacks/recruiting coordinator. Replaced Townsend. Maurice Linguist safeties. Replaced Hughes.

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