By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Geoff Collins’ stock rose following his first season as Mississippi State’s full-time defensive coordinator.
So much so that Collins was offered a contract extension and raise to keep him. The 42-year old has signed a two-year deal worth $1.2 million.
Collins will receive $575,000 in 2014 and $625,000 in 2015. He was paid $325,000 last season.
“Geoff is one of the bright defensive minds in all of college football,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said in a release from the university. “We as a staff and I know our players are excited about his extension. We are building something special here at Mississippi State, and he understands what it means to be a part of the Bulldog family. He continues to raise expectations for our team defensively and is also a tremendous recruiter.”
Collins was considered one of the leading candidates for the vacant defensive coordinator position at national champion Florida State. He held an in-home visit with four-star defensive tackle Marcus Griffin in Bellevue, Wash., on Monday.
Under Collins, the Bulldogs finished fourth in the Southeastern Conference this past season in total defense, allowing 349.3 yards and 23 points per game. State allowed one offensive touchdown in its final two outings in 2013.
The Bulldogs are set to return eight starters on defense in the fall.
“I am proud to be a Mississippi State Bulldog,” Collins said in a statement. “We have a talented group coming back next season and believe it can be a special year for us. I look forward to continuing to develop our players both on and off the football field. Coming off another bowl win and with National Signing Day approaching, the direction of Mississippi State football is bright.”
Collins coaches the linebackers in addition to his coordinator duties, an effort that helped develop Cameron Lawrence, an All-SEC performer who’s now with the Dallas Cowboys. Senior Deontae Skinner participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl this past Saturday.
Collins shared coordinator duties with Chris Wilson during his first two years at MSU. Wilson departed last season for Georgia and accepted the defensive line coaching position at Southern Cal last week.
Prior to Collins’ arrival in 2011, Mississippi State had gone through four defensive coordinators and four linebacker coaches in the previous five years.
Mullen still has an offensive coordinator spot to fill, with Les Koenning leaving for Texas last week to become a Longhorns’ assistant.