Bulldogs: It’s Diaz for the defense

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Dan Mullen certainly would’ve preferred Carl Torbush stay longer than one season as Mississippi State’s coordinator. But he got what he needed out of the veteran coach, who left to join Turner Gill’s staff at Kansas.
“One of the main reasons that I went out in hiring a staff was to get someone that had former head coaching experience that I could turn to and rely on those different things,” Mullen said. “He did a great job for us. Did a great job for me, in helping me do those things last year.”
Replacing Torbush is 36-year-old Manny Diaz, and that means Mullen, 38, is no longer the youngest member of the on-field coaching staff. Diaz actually shares defensive coordinator duties with new defensive line coach Chris Wilson, who replaced David Turner.
Last year, Diaz – once a production assistant for ESPN’s “NFL Countdown” show – was in his third season as D.C. at Middle Tennessee State.
Mullen still has veterans around him, like safeties coach Tony Hughes, offensive coordinator Les Koenning, and cornerbacks/nickelbacks coach Melvin Smith.
After a year in charge, Mullen has a better feel for the ins and outs of the job.
“You know, I know a lot more of what to expect from me,” he said. “I think you go into it, you have an idea what’s coming at you when you become a head coach. I think as an assistant I worked for a guy (Urban Meyer) that did a great job of teaching you those things, trying to develop you to become a head coach.
“Until you’re in that role, until you’re doing the job, you can’t prepare for it.”