MSU, Louisville swap out defensive leaders

Todd Grantham has reported taken the defensive coordinator position at Mississippi State, replacing Peter Sirmon. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Todd Grantham has replaced Peter Sirmon as Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – More changes are coming to Mississippi State’s defensive staff.

A year after replacing all four coaches on that side of the ball, Dan Mullen has made another move in hiring Todd Grantham away from Louisville to replace Peter Sirmon as his defensive coordinator.

“When the opportunity to be part of Dan Mullen’s staff presented itself it was something my family and I became very ex-cited about,” Grantham said. “Coach Mullen has built a winning program in the most challenging conference in the country. Along with our staff, I look forward to re-establishing the Bulldog defense as one of the top defenses in the country and making the fans of Mississippi State proud.”

According to media reports. Sirmon will replace Grantham as Louisville’s defensive coordinator.

Grantham agreed to a multi-year deal with the Bulldogs, according to Sports Illustrated. He was the fifth-highest paid assistant coach in the nation this past season, making $1.302 million with the Cardinals.

He’s been on Bobby Petrino’s staff at Louisville for the past three seasons where his defenses ranked No. 2 nationally behind Alabama in yards allowed per carry.

“Todd has proven to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the country this decade,” Mullen said. “He understands what it takes to build a physical and aggressive defense at the highest of levels.”

SEC, NFL experience

The 50-year old from Pulaski, Virginia, brings a decade of experience in SEC and also NFL experience as a coordinator. He was the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2010-13 and the Cleveland Browns from 2005-07.



Grantham also has coaching experience at Virginia Tech (1990-95), Michigan State (1996-98), Indianapolis Colts (1999-2001), Houston Texans (2002-04) and Dallas Cowboys (2008-09).

MSU cornerbacks coach Terrell Buckley served on the same staff as Grantham at Louisville in 2014-15.

Grantham will be the seventh defensive coordinator hire Mullen has made entering his ninth season in Starkville. He joins the long line of Carl Torbush, Manny Diaz (twice), Chris Wilson, Geoff Collins and Sirmon to serve under Mullen on that side of the ball.

Sirmon’s lone season in Starkville saw the Bulldogs’ surrender the most yards and second-most points of any team in the SEC.

Twitter: @loganlowery

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