It hasn’t taken long for Chris Wilson to impose his style onto the Mississippi State front seven. This past season, Wilson took over as the defensive coordinator for a Bulldog squad looking to build upon the great successes of 2010. Wilson did just that, improving the MSU defense in seven major statistical categories, while ranking 16th nationally in scoring defense (19.7 points per game) inside one of the toughest conferences in the country. With that scoring defense, the Bulldog defense placed 17th in the country in red-zone scoring (73.91 percent) as well as eighth in the FBS in big plays allowed (37 of 20-plus yards). Wilson helped lower the points-per-game output and lessened the passing yards per game by more than 500 yards from 2010.
The defensive line anchored the defense in increasing its sack total from the previous year, wrapping it up with a six-sack performance in the 2011 Music City Bowl victory over Wake Forest, MSU’s highest single-game sack total in over a decade. Leading the defensive line was Fletcher Cox, MSU’s 12th-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Cox, with Wilson’s coaching, was the Bulldogs’ first defensive All-American in over a decade.
The Bulldog defense allowed nearly 300 fewer yards on the ground and accumulated 29 more tackles behind the line of scrimmage than it did the year prior to Wilson’s arrival. Wilson’s defensive front ranked among the nation’s leaders in both rushing defense (15th) and tackles for loss (17th), improving from ranks of 62nd and 89th the year before.
In 2010, Wilson served as the Mississippi State defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator after spending the previous five years tutoring defensive linemen at his alma mater, Oklahoma. Wilson is a veteran of 15 years coaching at the collegiate level with stints at Indiana State, Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Colorado and Oklahoma.
Wilson coached defensive ends at Oklahoma and, for the last three years of his tenure, also served as special teams coordinator. In 2009, Wilson helped mentor a defensive front that finished eighth nationally against the run, allowing only 92 yards per game, and posted the sixth-most sacks in the country. The Sooner defense also finished the season ranked eighth in total defense and seventh in points allowed.
Under Wilson’s tutelage, defensive end Jeremy Beal was named All-Big 12 in consecutive seasons, leading the Sooner defense in tackles for loss and sacks both as a sophomore and as a junior.
In 2007, Wilson helped guide his alma mater’s defense to a conference-leading 32 sacks, 15 of which came from his ends. Sophomore Auston English ranked 15th nationally in sacks despite missing three games and was named first-team All-Big 12. The year prior, his ends logged 25.5 tackles for loss including 10 sacks.
In 2005, with his top returning starter (Larry Birdine) lost in August and one of his budding stars (John Williams) sidelined in the opener by injuries, he still coached the defensive ends to a brilliant season. C.J. Ah You was named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and MVP of the Holiday Bowl, and Calvin Thibodeaux captured postseason honors while leading the team with 10 sacks.
During his tenure in Boulder, Colo., Wilson captured the Big 12 North titles three times, with the Buffaloes ranking 15th nationally and second in the Big 12 with 33 sacks in 2004.
Wilson also coached on the Illinois State squad that captured the Gateway Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA semifinals in 1999. That season marked the only time that the Redbirds accomplished those feats.
Prior to his two-year stint at Illinois state, Wilson also served as linebackers coach at Indiana State in 1997, defensive coordinator at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in 1996, linebackers coach at Northern Illinois in 1995 and at Indiana State in 1994.
2011- Mississippi State (Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line)
2010: Mississippi State (Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line)
2007-09: Oklahoma (Special Teams Coordinator / Defensive Ends)
2005-06: Oklahoma (Defensive Ends)
2000-04: Colorado (Defensive Line)
2000 (Spr.): Army (Defensive Line)
1998-99: Illinois State (Defensive Line)
1997: Indiana State (Linebackers / Recruiting Coordinator)
1996: Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line)
1995: Northern Illinois (Linebackers)
1994: Indiana State (Linebackers)
1993: Indiana State (Graduate Assistant)
Birthdate: Jan. 8, 1969
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Education: 1992 – Bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma
Children: Caleb and Colby