Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen retained Melvin Smith from the previous coaching staff, and Smith has proven to be a good fit with the new group. A coach with deep Mississippi connections and proven recruiting ability, Smith coached the cornerbacks in 2007-08 after coaching the entire secondary in 2006.
In 2009, Smith mentored a young group, yet the Mississippi State secondary led the SEC with 17 interceptions on the season. Led by then-freshman Corey Broomfield’s six picks, the corners improved as the season progressed. For his efforts, Broomfield was named Freshman All-Southeastern Conference.
This past year, Smith continued to tutor Broomfield and Johnthan Banks, who developed into an All-SEC performer and was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. Thanks to Smith’s coaching, Banks is 2012 preseason All-American and is generally considered to be one of the top corners in the nation this upcoming year.
Smith returned to Mississippi State in 2006 after spending time at both Alabama and Texas A&M. In just his second season back on the campus, Smith helped the MSU pass defense rank fourth in the SEC, allowing just 182.2 yards per game, sixth in pass efficiency defense (114.8). The Bulldogs improved their interception total from 12 to 15.
For Smith, returning to MSU was a homecoming, not only to the university but to the state of Mississippi. A native of Taylorsville, Miss., who grew up in Magee, Miss., Smith was an assistant football coach previously at State for seven years (1995-2001), helping guide the Bulldogs through arguably the greatest period in the school’s football history.
The 25-year coaching veteran has spent 21 of those years working in the Magnolia State. Smith came back to Mississippi State following three seasons at Texas A&M, where he coached the safeties. During his tenure in College Station, Texas, Smith helped the Aggies to a 7-4 regular season record in 2004 and a berth in the 2005 Cotton Bowl.
Prior to his stint at A&M and immediately following his seven years at MSU, Smith coached the safeties at Alabama in 2002, where the Crimson Tide team posted a 10-3 regular season record. In 2000, three of his four defensive backfield starters signed professional football contracts. That secondary intercepted 19 passes, the second-most in school history. Smith has also coached on the collegiate level in Mississippi at Ole Miss (1992-94) and Delta State (1990-91). He began his coaching career on the high school level at Greenwood (Miss.) from 1982-89.
Smith holds a master’s degree in administration from Delta State (1992) and a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Millsaps College. Smith is married to the former Sheilah McLemore and the couple has four children: sons Robert and Melvin, and daughters Deondra and Ashlee.
2007- Mississippi State (Cornerbacks)
2006: Mississippi State (Secondary)
2003-05: Texas A&M (Safeties)
2002: Alabama (Safeties)
1996-2001: Mississippi State (Defensive Backs)
1995: Mississippi State (Wide Receivers)
1992-94: Ole Miss (Tight Ends / Wide Receivers)
1991: Delta State (Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers)
1990: Delta State University (Defensive Backs)
1982-89: Greenwood (Miss.) HS
Birthdate: Feb. 1, 1958
Hometown: Magee, Miss.
Education: 1982 – Bachelor’s in Health and Physical Education from Millsaps
1992 – Master’s in Administration from Delta State
Children: Robert, Melvin, Deondra and Ashlee