Mississippi State has hired former Kentucky and Mississippi State defensive line coach David Turner as its new defensive line coach, Brad Locke confirms via a text message from head coach Dan Mullen today.
Dan Mullen confirms via text message that David Turner has been hired as MSU's new defensive line coach.— bradlocke (@bradlocke) January 9, 2013
The news was first reported by Paul Jones of Bulldawgs 247.
Turner comes to Starkville after serving as the defensive line coach for the past three seasons at Kentucky under former head coach Joker Phillips. When Phillips was fired last fall, Turner came back on the market, and now becomes the Bulldogs defensive line coach for the second time in the past four seasons.
Turner previously served as the defensive line coach at State for the 2007 - 2009 seasons, before departing to become a part of Phillips staff at UK. Turner was hired by Sylvester Croom for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and was one of the few coaches retained by Dan Mullen when he came in in 2009. Mullen also fought hard to keep Turner when the Kentucky opening became available to him in 2010. Before that previous stint at MSU, Turner served as defensive line coach at numerous schools, including Alabama (ends), Vanderbilt, Virginia, North Carolina State, and even a previous stint at Kentucky.
Bulldog fans will also remember Turner for his recruiting prowess, as he recruited arguably two of the best defensive lineman in the school's history in Fletcher Cox and Pernell McPhee as a part of the 2009 class.
Turner was chosen for MSU's defensive line coaching position over a varying list of other candidates, which reportedly included Texas defensive tackles coach Bo Davis, among others.
This hire has the feel of good, not great, on initial reaction. On one hand, Turner was one of the "less sexy" names on a list of reported candidates, but there's no way to gauge whether or not any of the others, one of whose name is listed above, were legitimately ever interested in taking the job. On the other hand, Turner definitely has a familiarity with the program, with coaching under Mullen, and with recruiting in the state of Mississippi. Turner coached respectable defensive lines on not-so-good MSU teams in 2007 and 2008, and recruited and helped form the nucleus of what would become an outstanding defensive front in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Weighing those factors, I would call this a win in the hiring department off the bat, but will defer final judgement to those who know his previous work in Starkville better.
Turner also comes on in time to help MSU wrap up its 2013 football recruiting class.
Mississippi State will now, along with the height of the college football recruiting season, turn its attention towards hiring a secondary coach to replace Melvin Smith, who left for Auburn last month.