Mississippi State and Louisville reportedly swap defensive coordinators

Todd Grantham was defensive coordinator at Louisville for three seasons. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Todd Grantham is heading back to the SEC.

After spending the last three seasons at Louisville as defensive coordinator, Grantham has accepted the same position at Mississippi State.

“Todd has proven to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the country this decade,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. “He understands what it takes to build a physical and aggressive defense at the highest of levels. We are excited to welcome he and his family to Starkville.”

Added Grantham: “When the opportunity to be part of Dan Mullen’s staff presented itself it was something my family and I became very excited about. Coach Mullen has built a winning program in the most challenging conference in the country. Along with our staff, I look forward to re-establishing the Bulldog defense as one of the top defenses in the country and making the fans of Mississippi State proud.”

At Mississippi State, Grantham replaces Peter Sirmon. MSU, which went 6-7, was No. 110 in the country in total defense, giving up an average of 459.1 yards per game. That mark was 12th in the SEC.

Coincidentally, Sirmon, who previously coached at USC, Washington and Tennessee, will apparently be the one to replace Grantham at Louisville, according to FootballScoop.com:

Mississippi State defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon has agreed to become Louisville’s defensive coordinator, sources tell FootballScoop. The arrangement has been in the works for some time, sources told FootballScoop, but Louisville wanted to wait until current defensive coordinator Todd Grantham found new employment.

Grantham, who will be MSU’s fourth defensive coordinator in the past four years, helped Louisville have the 14th-best defense in the country this season, allowing just 322.2 yards per game. Additionally, the Cardinals were 12th in rushing defense (115.2 ypg) and 31st in scoring defense (23.8 ppg).

In 2014, there was reported friction between Grantham and Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino, but Grantham opted to stay with the program after that season despite a reported offer to be the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.

Before his tenure under Petrino at Louisville, Grantham had a four-year stint as defensive coordinator at Georgia. The Bulldogs boasted a top 40 defense three times under Grantham.

Grantham also had stints as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts and at Michigan State and Virginia Tech.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!