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.