STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) —Head football coach Dan Mullen announced today the hiring of David Turner as the new defensive line coach at Mississippi State. Turner served as defensive line coach at Mississippi State from 2007 through 2009, and returns after a three-year stint at Kentucky where he was assistant head coach and defensive line coach.
“I’m excited to get back to Mississippi State and work again with all the wonderful people there,” Turner said. “Dan is building a consistent, winning program and I’m happy to hit the ground running and help us advance to the next level.”
A veteran of 27 years as a collegiate coach with 13 seasons of experience in the Southeastern Conference, Turner mentored current NFL standouts Fletcher Cox, Kyle Love and Pernell McPhee during his first stint at MSU. In his first season at State, he helped the Bulldogs to their first postseason appearance in seven years and the defense ranked 24th nationally in tackles for loss.
“We’re happy to welcome David back to the Mississippi State family,” Mullen said. “I have the utmost respect for the kind of person he is, and his relationships around the country and especially within the state of Mississippi will allow him to make a seamless transition.”
At Kentucky, Turner helped the defense improve in tackles for loss, sacks and rushing yards allowed from the year prior to his hire. The Wildcats improved their sacks-per-game average each season under Turner’s watch, posting more than two per game in 2012.
Turner joined the MSU staff after one season at the University of Alabama. He coached the Crimson Tide defensive ends during his lone campaign in Tuscaloosa. UA finished 23rd nationally in total defense in 2006 and advanced to the Independence Bowl.
Prior to Alabama, Turner was the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt from 2002-05. One of his linemen, tackle Jovan Haye, went on to the NFL and currently plays with the Tennessee Titans. Vanderbilt had a significant upgrade in talent level during Turner’s term as recruiting coordinator as he helped bring in the players for the Commodores’ eventual Music City Bowl championship in 2008.
A native of Goldston, N.C., Turner also has worked in the Big Ten Conference at Minnesota (2001), where he worked with the defensive ends, and in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Virginia (1997-2000), where he coached defensive tackles and linebackers. He also was co-special teams coordinator in his final season. The Cavaliers played in the Peach Bowl, Micronpc.com Bowl and the Oahu Classic during his term there.
Turner began his collegiate coaching career in 1986 as an assistant at his alma mater, Davidson College. He worked with the running backs and tight ends over a two-year stretch. In 1988, he moved to North Carolina State, serving two years as a defensive graduate assistant. He worked with a Wolfpack unit that ranked first in the ACC in total defense in 1988 while playing in the Peach Bowl and Copper Bowl.
He spent one year as the defensive line coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, helping the team to a 12-2 overall record while reaching the Division II national championship game. He also worked two seasons at James Madison, helping the Dukes to a 9-4 record and a berth in the 1991 Division I-AA playoffs.
Turner returned to the Division I-A ranks in 1993. He spent two seasons as defensive ends coach at Kentucky, where he helped the Wildcats advance to the `93 Peach Bowl. In 1995, he went back to NC State, coaching defensive ends and linebackers before going to Virginia in `97.
Turner is married to the former Yvette Modica and the couple has two daughters, Bianca and Alexyia.
1986-87 Davidson Assistant Coach (Running Backs, Tight Ends)
1988-89 NC State Graduate Assistant Coach (Defense)
1990 Indiana (Pa.) Assistant Coach (Defensive Line)
1991-92 James Madison Assistant Coach (Linebackers)
1993-94 Kentucky Assistant Coach (Defensive Ends)
1995-96 NC State Assistant Coach (Defensive Ends, Linebackers)
1997-2000 Virginia Assistant Coach (Defensive Tackles, Linebackers)
2001 Minnesota Assistant Coach (Defensive Ends)
2002-05 Vanderbilt Assistant Coach (Recruiting Coordinator, Defensive Line)
2006 Alabama Assistant Coach (Defensive Ends)
2007-09 Mississippi State Assistant Coach (Defensive Line)
2010-2012 Kentucky Assistant Head Coach (Defensive Line)
2013- Mississippi State Assistant Coach (Defensive Line)