By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
David Turner is headed back to Starkville.
Mississippi State hired Turner to be its defensive line coach on Wednesday. Just three years ago, the longtime assistant left MSU after serving in the same role from 2007-09.
Turner was hired by Sylvester Croom and stayed on through Dan Mullen’s first season. He then left for Kentucky, serving as defensive line coach and assistant head coach under Joker Phillips.
After Phillips was fired following a 2-10 season, Turner was out of a job because new coach Mark Stoops cleaned house.
“There are just good people at Mississippi State, and I love the kids there,” Turner said in an interview with Bulldawgs247, which first reported the hiring. “All of that played a big factor.
“It is never an easy decision to move again with your family, especially as your kids get older. But going back to a very comfortable place definitely helped that situation.”
Turner did not return messages left by the Daily Journal seeking comment.
He was hired five days after Geoff Collins was promoted from co-defensive coordinator to defensive coordinator. That spelled the end of Chris Wilson’s two-year run as DC, and that departure also meant there was an opening for defensive line coach.
Wilson was officially announced as Georgia’s new defensive line coach on Wednesday.
Turner brings strong recruiting connections to MSU, and he helped bring in current NFLers Fletcher Cox and Pernell McPhee. He’ll have a deep group to work with upon arrival.
Turner has coached defensive linemen at Alabama, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Virginia and N.C. State, and he was also recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt from 2002-05.
He’s also held positions at Indiana (Pa.) and Davidson.
MSU is still seeking a replacement for cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith, who left on Christmas Day for the same position at Auburn.