By JOEL COLEMAN
Mississippi State officially announced the recent changes to its football coaching staff on Friday.
The Bulldogs confirmed the hiring of assistants Peter Sirmon and Terrell Buckley, as well as the promotion of defensive line coach David Turner to assistant head coach.
Sirmon joins MSU as defensive coordinator. Buckley will coach the secondary and serve as recruiting coordinator.
“We are excited about the dynamic additions to our staff and are grateful for what David has helped us accomplish,” Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said. “They are tremendous recruiters, teachers and leaders who will continue to raise the level of expectations of our program. They will develop our players both on and off the field, preparing them for life and do it in a way our Bulldog fans can be proud of.”
The Bulldogs also confirmed another coaching hire is needed following the departure of cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend, who is leaving MSU for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
“We thank Deshea for his three years of service at Mississippi State and wish him all the best as he pursues his dream of coaching in the NFL,” Mullen said. “We have begun a search for an assistant coach who is the right fit for our program.”
Both Sirmon and Buckley are veteran coaches with NFL experience.
Sirmon just finished his second season at USC where he served as linebackers coach, recruiting coordinator and associate head coach of the defense. As recruiting coordinator for the Trojans, Sirmon helped USC bring in a a recruiting class in 2014 that was ranked among the nation’s top 10, then in 2015, reeled in the country’s top recruiting class according to several services.
Prior to his time at USC, Sirmon served as linebackers coach for Washington for two seasons. He also spent time in the Southeastern Conference as the linebackers coach for Tennessee in 2011 after serving as a graduate assistant for the Volunteers in 2010.
Sirmon was also a graduate assistant for his alma mater, Oregon, in 2009. He began his coaching career in 2008 when he led the linebackers at Central Washington.
Sirmon is a seven-year NFL veteran. Following his collegiate playing career at Oregon where he was a four-year starter at linebacker, Sirmon played for the Tennessee Titans from 2000-06.
“Peter is one of the bright young defensive minds in all of college football,” Mullen said. “He will relate to our players well, and he has outstanding knowledge of the game with his experience as a college coach and former NFL linebacker. His recruiting prowess is evident by the talent he brought in and developed at his previous coaching jobs. He’s a great fit to lead our defense.”
Sirmon says he is happy to be in Starkville.
“This is a great opportunity to join Coach Mullen’s staff and build a championship defense at Mississippi State,” Sirmon said. “It’s been exciting so far on the recruiting trail. We want to continue to build relationships and bring elite talent to Starkville. We have an exceptional core of experienced players coming back, and I am thrilled to get to know each of them.”
Buckley, a 14-year NFL veteran, has college coaching experience at Florida State, Akron and most recently, Louisville.
Buckley is familiar with Mississippi having grown up and played high school football at Pascagoula. From there, Buckley went on to play defensive back in college at Florida State and was a first-round selection in the 1992 NFL Draft. In his professional career, Buckley played with the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Jets and New York Giants. He helped the Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI in February of 2002.
“It’s time to bring Terrell back to his home state of Mississippi,” Mullen said. “Terrell is very passionate about this state from his childhood in Gautier and Pascagoula to recruiting as an assistant coach the past several years. He understands what it means to be a Mississippian. He brings an impressive resume to Mississippi State – both as a coach and as a former NFL and All-American cornerback.”
Buckley is proud to be back in the Magnolia State.
“It’s special to be back in Mississippi and be a Mississippi State Bulldog,” Buckley said. “The opportunity to come back and work at a place where you were born and raised doesn’t come true for a lot of folks. I am blessed that it has for me. I’m excited to get to work with Coach Mullen, our staff and our players here.”
Turner, who is in his second stint with Mississippi State and entering his seventh season overall with the Bulldogs this year, will continue to serve as defensive line coach in addition to his new role as assistant head coach.
As a coach at MSU, Turner has overseen the development of former Bulldog and current NFL players such as Fletcher Cox, Pernell McPhee, Kyle Love, Preston Smith and Josh Boyd.