Mississippi State has hired a cornerbacks coach.
Deshea Townsend, who starred at South Panola High School and spent 13 years in the NFL, has been chosen to fill the vacancy left by Melvin Smith. Townsend made the news known this morning on Twitter with the message, “Go Dawgs!!!! It’s Official!!!”
MSU just made the hiring official this afternoon.
“Deshea will bring an energy and excitement to our defensive backfield and entire team,” head coach Dan Mullen said in a statement. “His experience in the National Football League is valuable, and his roots in Mississippi made him an obvious choice for our program.”
Townsend played his college ball at Alabama and was a fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1998 NFL Draft. He spent 12 seasons in Pittsburgh, winning two Super Bowls and recording 21 interceptions. He finished up his playing career in 2010 with Indianapolis.
Townsend has been an assistant defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals the past two seasons. According to his Twitter page, he is the founder of the Pay It Forward Foundation and owner of the Deshea Townsend Fitness Academy.
“It’s great to be heading home again,” Townsend said. “Coach Mullen and his staff have built a solid program and I’m excited to join the team and hit the ground running.”
Townsend will have a young group to work with. MSU is losing both of its starting cornerbacks from 2012, including Jim Thorpe Award winner Johnthan Banks. Among those vying for playing time next fall will be Taveze Calhoun, Jamerson Love and Cedric Jiles.
MSU has now filled both of its vacant positions. David Turner was hired as defensive line coach on Wednesday.