English, a two-decade veteran of college coaching, will join the Bulldog staff to coach safeties. He replaces Maurice Linguist.
“We are fortunate to hire someone of Ron’s caliber as safeties coach,” Mullen said in a provided statement. “To bring someone of our staff who has served as a FBS head coach and been a successful defensive coordinator is a tremendous asset to our program. His knowledge of the game, especially in the secondary, will complement our staff.”
English comes to Mississippi State after a year as defensive coordinator at San Jose State. This past season the Spartans were fourth in MWC pass defense, fifth in interceptions and fourth in turnovers.
He was formerly head coach at Eastern Michigan from 2009-13. There he was MAC Coach of the Year in 2011 with a 6-6 season, the program’s most wins in sixteen years.
Ironically English also was the defensive coordinator at Louisville in 2008. That’s the job which Mullen was able to take new Dog DC Todd Grantham from last month, to replace the departed Peter Sirmon who himself was hired by…Louisville.
Other than his five years with EMU, English is a career defensive coach with long experience in the secondary. He spent five seasons with Michigan, as secondary coach in 2003-05 and then the overall coordinator in 2006-07 under Lloyd Carr. His last year saw the Wolverine defense rank 23rd in NCAA scoring and 24th in yardage. In 2006 Michigan was 10th in yardage, 15th in scoring, and led the nation in rushing defense.
English’s secondaries were key to Michigan to ranking among the nation’s best defenses in intercepting the ball. Two of his players were named consensus All-American in 2004, and he coached an All-Big Ten defensive back in all five campaigns in Ann Arbor.
English served stints coaching defensive backs at Arizona State, San Diego State, and Northern Arizona; after a couple of years as a high school assistant to begin his coaching career.
English was a fine college defensive back in his own right, playing four seasons at safety for California 1987-90. He has a bachelors degree from Berkeley and a masters in education administration from Arizona State. A native of Pomona, Cal., he will turn 49 in May.
English has coached on nine bowl teams, including three trips to the Rose Bowl. He was twice nominated for the Broyles Award and in 2006 was named National Defensive Coordinator of the Year.
In the provided release, English said “I am grateful for this opportunity to join Coach Mullen’s staff and be a part of the MSU family. Bowl games have become the norm in Starkville and the opportunity to coach in the Southeastern Conference with Dan and Todd Grantham is exciting. I look forward to helping our players develop and teaching the game I love.”
With this hiring, Mullen now lacks only a quarterbacks coach to replace Brian Johnson and complete the staff for spring football.