Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen is rumored to be set to announce new hires later this week.

Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen has spent the past few days interviewing candidates for a pair of openings on his staff. With spring football practice set to begin in just over a week, it appears that Mullen is close to filling those vacancies.

Sources have reported that Mullen interviewed former NFL kicker and special teams assistant Chris Boniol last week and that Boniol has accepted a special teams' quality control position on the Mississippi State staff.

An opening was created when Coach Hames Vollono left the staff as an offensive quality control analyst and accepted a special team's coaching position at the University of Georgia.

Boniol, a native of Alexandria, Louisiana, spent last season with the Louisiana College football program near his home town of Alexandria. 

After a strong prep career at Alexandria Senior High School, Boniol signed a football scholarship with Louisiana Tech. Once his college career was completed, the talented place kicker found a roster spot with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

Boniol helped the Cowboys to a win in Super Bowl XXX and became one of the most prolific kickers in franchise history before leaving Dallas for Philadelphia after a free agent bidding war.

Once his six year NFL career was complete, Boniol went into coaching hosting various kicking camps for college football hopefuls. Boniol returned to Dallas in 2010 where he coaches for three seasons. 

In 2014, Boniol spent the season as an assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders. Following that year, Boniol took his most recent post at Louisiana College.

Souces have also indicated that Mississippi State is close to hiring another former NFL assistant who coached alongside Boniol as part of the Dallas Cowboys' staff, Coach Brian Baker.

Baker played linebacker at the University of Maryland before joining the Terps' staff as a student assistant once his playing career was over. After serving as a graduate assistant for Maryland, spent a year coaching at Army before taking the linebackers coaching job at Georgia Tech, a post he held for nine seasons. In his final season with the Yellowjackets, Baker was promoted to the position of defensive coordinator.

Over the course of the next twenty seasons, Baker coached for eight NFL teams primarily as a defensive line coach. His two most recent professional coaching stops involved coaching linebackers for the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.

The Mississippi State defensive line coaching position opened up last Monday when Coach David Turner informed Coach Dan Mullen of his intentions to accept the same post with the Aggies of Texas A&M. 

The official University release declaring the vacancies filled is expected later in the week. With Spring football practice set to begin March 9th, the Bulldogs needed to act quickly and it appears that they have.

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