STARKVILLE, Miss. – Geoff Collins, one of the top defensive minds in college football, has agreed to a two-year contract extension as Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator, head coach Dan Mullen announced on Monday.
The contract is worth $1.2 million over the next two years and comes nearly two weeks prior to National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Collins will receive $575,000 in the first year of the deal and $625,000 in 2015. Collins joined Mullen’s staff in 2011 and has developed MSU into one of the top defensive units in the SEC the past three seasons.
“Geoff is one of the bright defensive minds in all of college football,” said Mullen. “We as a staff and I know our players are excited about his extension. We are building something special here at Mississippi State, and he understands what it means to be a part of the Bulldog family. He continues to raise expectations for our team defensively and is also a tremendous recruiter.”
Contract adjustments for the remainder of the MSU coaching staff are expected to be announced in the near future.
In Collins’ first season as full-time MSU defensive coordinator, the Bulldogs ranked in the top five in four categories in the Southeastern Conference, including scoring defense (23.0 ppg – fifth), rushing defense (144.2 ypg – fourth), passing defense (205.2 – fifth) and total defense (349.3 ypg – fourth).
“I am proud to be a Mississippi State Bulldog,” said Collins. “We have a talented group coming back next season and believe it can be a special year for us. I look forward to continuing to develop our players both on and off the football field. Coming off another bowl win and with National Signing Day approaching, the direction of Mississippi State football is bright.”
While playing in arguably college football’s toughest division, MSU ranked 18th nationally in total defense during the 2013 season. In addition, Collins was instrumental in developing safety Nickoe Whitley into a first-team All-SEC selection.
MSU’s defense got stronger as the season went on and sparked the Bulldogs to a three-game winning streak highlighted by an Egg Bowl victory over rival Ole Miss and a win over Rice in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. MSU held Rice, one of the nation’s top-15 offenses statistically, to just seven points and 145 total yards. It was the second-fewest points allowed by any college football team in a bowl game this season.
Coined the “Minister of Mayhem,” Collins came to MSU in 2011 as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach after putting together a remarkable resume during stints at Florida International and UCF. In his first season with the Bulldogs, he immediately raised the bar in developing linebacker Cameron Lawrence, who finished in the top five in the SEC in total tackles with 123. In 2012, Lawrence earned All-SEC honors while Benardrick McKinney was named a freshman All-American.
A year prior to his arrival at MSU, Collins’ 2010 defensive unit at Florida International led the Sun Belt in total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense and turnover margin.
2011-present: Mississippi State (Defensive Coordinator/ Linebackers)
2010: Florida International (Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers)
2008-09: UCF (Linebackers / Recruiting Coordinator)
2007: Alabama (Director of Player Personnel)
2006: Georgia Tech (Recruiting Coordinator)
2002-05: Western Carolina (Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs)
1999-2001: Georgia Tech (Graduate Assistant)
1997-98: Albright College (Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers)
1995: Franklin (N.C.) High School
1993-94: Western Carolina (Student Assistant)