By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Mississippi State lost an assistant coach a week before its bowl game.
Cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith, who had spent 14 years in two different stints at MSU, was hired by Auburn on Tuesday. Auburn Undercover first reported the hire.
The Bulldogs are reporting to Jacksonville, Fla., today to resume preparations for their Gator Bowl matchup with No. 21 Northwestern on New Year’s Day.
Smith was in the seventh season of his second go-round at State, having also worked in Starkville from 1995-2001. He worked for each of the last three MSU coaches – Jackie Sherrill, Sylvester Croom and current coach Dan Mullen – mostly coaching defensive backs.
Smith coached Jim Thorpe Award winner Johnthan Banks for four years, and his cornerbacks have accounted for 11 of MSU’s 16 interceptions this season.
Auburn has now completed its coaching staff. Gus Malzahn was recently hired as head coach to replace the fired Gene Chizik.