Croom Finds New Defensive Coordinator - - Jackson, MS

January 4th, 2007

Croom Finds New Defensive Coordinator

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Charlie Harbison, who coached safeties

at Mississippi State this past season, has been promoted to

defensive coordinator, head football coach Sylvester Croom said


Harbison, 48, succeeds Ellis Johnson, who has joined coach Bobby

Petrino's staff at Arkansas as defensive coordinator. Johnson had

been MSU's coordinator since Croom arrived at Mississippi State

following the 2003 season.

In the statement announcing Harbison's promotion, Croom also

said another university has been granted permission to interview

Woody McCorvey, MSU's offensive coordinator. Croom did not name the

school. McCorvey also came to MSU with Croom.

Croom said Louis Campbell will coach Bulldogs' linebackers,

which was the position Johnson coached before his departure.

MSU ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference in total defense

and first in red zone defense this past season, which ended with a

10-3 win over Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 29.

MSU (8-5) had its first winning season since 2000.

Harbison coached defensive backs at Clemson (1995-97), Alabama

(1998-2000) and LSU (2001-02), then returned to Alabama to coach

wide receivers (2003-06).

He was not retained when Nick Saban was hired as the Alabama

head coach a year ago.

Harbison soon landed at Mississippi State, where he coached a

group of safeties that accounted for 11 interceptions and helped

Mississippi State's defense finish fourth in the SEC against the


Harbison played at Gardner-Webb from 1979 to 1982 and returned

to get his degree from the school in 1995. He played professionally

with the Boston and New Orleans Breakers of the defunct United

States Football League.

Campbell, who had filled various positions over the past 18

seasons at Arkansas, had previously agreed to coach on new

Mississippi coach Houston Nutt's staff.

Nutt said Thursday that Campbell had agreed to instead coach at

Mississippi State. A former Alabama assistant, Campbell has ties to

Croom and fellow MSU assistant Rockey Felker.

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