Moorhead announces staff additions; Baker, Buckley to continue roles

Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead announced the addition of three new coaching staff members on Friday.

Posted: Jan. 5, 2018 4:56 PM
Updated: Jan. 5, 2018 4:56 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead announced the addition of three new coaching staff members on Friday.

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· Luke Getsy, the former wide receivers coach for the Green Bay Packers, will serve as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Bulldogs.

· Tem Lukabu a four-year NFL defensive assistant including most recently with the San Francisco 49ers, will coach linebackers.

· Andrew Warsaw, the NFL’s former director of game operations, has been tabbed as MSU’s director of football operations.

· In addition, Brian Baker and Terrell Buckley will continue their roles as defensive line and cornerbacks coach, respectively.

“We are excited about the staff we have assembled for 2018,” Moorhead said. “With the additions of Luke, Tem and Andrew, they bring valuable experience to Mississippi State from both the college and NFL levels. They are also great people with terrific families and will be mentors to our players. They have hit the ground running and are eager to help us compete for championships and enhance our program.

“We are thrilled to have Brian (Baker) and Terrell (Buckley) on staff. When you look at what they accomplished with their position groups this season, they did an outstanding job putting players in a position to succeed. They helped form one of the SEC’s top defenses. Our players have tremendous respect for them, and they continue to develop under Brian and Terrell’s leadership.”

Getsy reunites with his former college coach and mentor as he played and coached for Moorhead at Akron. Under Getsy’s watch, the Packers were a dominant receiving force the last two seasons.

“The opportunity to join Joe’s staff at Mississippi State is an honor for me,” Getsy said. “Joe is someone I respect immensely, and he has helped shape my foundation as a coach. My family and I are thrilled to be in Starkville. We have a talented, hard-working group of players coming back in 2018, and I can’t wait to get to work with them.”

Despite losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers to injury most of the 2017 season, Getsy mentored Davante Adams into one of the league’s top playmakers. Adams ranked second in the NFL with 10 receiving touchdowns during the regular season. In his first year as receivers coach in 2016, the Packers were one of two teams in the NFL to have three wide receivers (Jordy Nelson, Adams and Randall Cobb) with 60-plus receptions and 600-plus receiving yards.

After missing the 2015 season due to a knee injury, Nelson was named The Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He led the NFL in touchdowns (14) and Adams tied for No. 2 (12) as they become only the second teammate duo in franchise history with 12-plus TD catches each in the same season.

Getsy began his coaching career at his alma mater, Akron, serving as a graduate assistant from 2007-08 under Moorhead. As a player in Moorhead’s offense, Getsy set 24 individual school records in his two seasons with the Zips after transferring from Pittsburgh.

In addition to two-year stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lukabu owns five years of linebacker coaching experience at the collegiate level, which includes stops at Florida International, Rutgers, Colgate and Rhode Island.

“Coaching in the best conference in the country at a place like Mississippi State is exciting,” Lukabu said. “This is a program I have had tremendous respect for when you look at what has been accomplished here. I look forward to working with Joe and our staff.”

Lukabu spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons as defensive quality control coach with the 49ers. In 2015, Lukabu served as the defensive line coach at Florida International, where he helped senior Michael Wakefield earn first-team All-Conference USA honors.

Prior to his time at Colgate (2014), Lukabu spent two seasons (2012-13) as a defensive assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2013, linebacker LaVonte David registered career highs in sacks (seven) and interceptions (three) en route to earning first-team All-Pro honors.

Lukabu joined Tampa Bay following two seasons (2010-11) at Rutgers, where he coached outside linebackers under Greg Schiano. In 2011, Lukabu coached Khaseem Greene, who led the team with 144 tackles and earned conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors, the first player in Rutgers history to do so.

Warsaw comes to Starkville after serving as the NFL’s director of game operations since December 2016. He coordinated team logistics and travel for international games as well as the Super Bowl. Warsaw oversaw all gameday policies during the season and was based out of the league’s New York headquarters.

Warsaw and Moorhead reunite after the two worked together at Fordham in 2012. Warsaw was the Rams’ director of football operations that season.

“To come to a place like Mississippi State and be a part of SEC football, it doesn’t get quite better than this,” Warsaw said. “Working with Joe again is a dream come true. My career path was forged for an opportunity like this one. My family and I are excited to be here in Starkville.”

Baker will enter his third season as defensive line coach for the Bulldogs in 2018. A 19-year NFL veteran prior to coming to Starkville, Baker’s defensive line unit ranked among the best in the nation in 2017. For the first time in program history, State produced multiple first-team All-SEC defensive linemen as sophomore Jeffery Simmons and junior Montez Sweat were recognized. The two formed the league’s top pass rush duo, combining for 27.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks.

It represented just the second time since 2003 that an SEC West school produced multiple first-team All-SEC defensive linemen. Simmons, despite being double-teamed most of the season, still managed to collect 12 tackles for loss, five sacks and two fumble recoveries. He also led the nation in blocked kicks with three.

Buckley, a Mississippi native, arrived at MSU in 2016 and helped oversee one of the best secondaries in program history in 2017. The Bulldogs ranked 12th nationally against the pass, allowing only 174.7 yards per game through the air. That figure ranked as the best at MSU since 2004 (174.5).

Buckley mentored junior Jamal Peters, seniors Tolando Cleveland and Lashard Durr as well as redshirt freshman Cameron Dantzler and junior Chris Rayford. The Bulldogs ended the 2017 campaign on a high note, intercepting 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson four times, including one from Dantzler, in a 31-27 win against Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

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