Every Monday, The SEC Blog will feature an assistant coach in the SEC. This week, we take a look at Mississippi State defensive coordinator Chris Wilson.
When Chris Wilson was elevated from co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach to defensive coordinator prior to the 2011 season, he had some big shoes to fill.
Manny Diaz had just led the Bulldogs to the SEC's third-best scoring defense (19.8 points per game) and fourth-best rushing defense (119.08 yards per game) and parlayed his one year as Mississippi State's defensive coordinator into the same role on the staff at the University of Texas.
Wilson came through in his first true season as defensive coordinator, when the Bulldogs improved upon their scoring defense by one-tenth of a point to finish fourth in the SEC.
Not a bad debut.
Wilson is a 19-year coaching veteran who spent the entire decade of the 2000s as a position coach in the Big 12, including stops at Colorado (2000-04) and Oklahoma (2005-09). Wilson graduated from Oklahoma in 1992.
He has plenty of pieces to work with in 2012, particularly in the secondary. Johnthan Banks and Corey Broomfield are perhaps the most underrated cornerback tandem in the country, linebacker Cameron Lawrence returns as the SEC's leading returning tackler, and Denico Autry joins Josh Boyd on a defensive line that is strong despite the loss of Fletcher Cox to the NFL.
Wilson did a good job in 2011 in the rough-and-tumble SEC West. If he can repeat the feat in 2012, he will be well on his way to being considered one of the SEC's best defensive coordinators.