A Mississippi native with a wealth of experience coaching in his home state, Tony Hughes coaches safeties in the defensive backfield and also coordinates the Bulldogs’ recruiting efforts.
In 2010, Hughes tutored Nickoe Whitley to Freshman All-SEC honors. This past season, Hughes developed Charles Mitchell into one of the top safeties in the SEC, with Mitchell getting drafted in the sixth round by the Atlanta Falcons in April 2012.
Hughes came to Mississippi State after spending one season at Southern Miss, where he coached the secondary. Prior to that stop, Hughes coached for three seasons at Ole Miss.
Named one of the top 25 college football recruiters in the nation by Rivals.com in the spring of 2006, Hughes’ first two years were spent tutoring the defensive backs, with his final season in Oxford spent working with the tight ends.
Prior to a two-season tenure at Louisiana Tech, Hughes had spent the previous 10 years on the coaching staff at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss., where he served as the defensive coordinator for one year and the secondary coach during his first nine seasons. At Hinds, Hughes coached eight players that later went on to the National Football League, including former Mississippi State standout Fred Smoot.
Before working at Hinds, Hughes’ first college stop as a full-time collegiate coach was a two-year stay at West Alabama, where he was the secondary coach in 1992 and 1993.
Hughes coached for seven years in the Mississippi high school ranks, serving as the offensive coordinator and offensive backs coach at Hattiesburg High School from 1988-1991.
Hughes also spent two seasons as the defensive secondary coach and boys track coach at South Natchez High School in 1986 and 1987. His first high school coaching job came at Philadelphia High School in 1985.
After serving in the United States Marine Corps from 1981 to 1984 and receiving an honorable discharge, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Southern Miss in 1984, working with the defensive backs.
Hughes, who played football and ran track at Forest High School (1974-76) and played defensive back at St. Paul’s College (1976-77), was a defensive back for Southern Miss in 1977 and 1978. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from there in 1980. He is an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving as a member of the Mississippi FCA State Board of Directors in 1999, president of the Mississippi FCA Coaches Council in 1998 and vice-president of the Mississippi FCA Coaches Council in 1997.
Hughes is married to the former Marion McCaleb of Meridian, Miss., and the couple has two sons, Jamison and Jay, the latter of which is a sophomore defensive back on the MSU football team.
2009- Mississippi State (Safeties/Recruiting Coordinator)
2008: Southern Miss (Secondary)
2007: Ole Miss (Tight Ends)
2005-06: Ole Miss (Defensive Backs)
2004: Louisiana Tech (Outside Linebackers)
2003: Louisiana Tech (Defensive Backs)
2002: Hinds Community College (Defensive Coordinator)
1994-2001: Hinds Community College (Secondary)
1992-93: West Alabama (Secondary)
1988-91: Hatiesburgh High (Offensive Coordinator)
1986-87: South Natchez (Secondary)
1985: Philadelphia (Miss.) High School
Birthdate: May 22, 1959
Hometown: Forest, Miss.
Education: 1980 – Bachelor’s in Sociology from Southern Miss
1985 – Certificate of Education in Social Studies from Southern Miss
Children: Jamison and Jay