STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Chris Marve, one of the rising coaching stars in the country and a Southeastern Conference standout, has been tabbed as Mississippi State’s new defensive run game coordinator and linebackers coach, head coach Joe Moorhead announced Friday.
“Chris understands what SEC football is all about having played and coached in this league at a high level,” Moorhead said. “A Memphis native, Chris is not only an outstanding on-field coach but a dynamic recruiter. He has a firm grasp of our defense and shined as a player under Coach (Bob) Shoop. He is a perfect fit for Mississippi State. We are excited to get to work next week with Chris leading our linebackers.”
Marve, who has been around SEC football his entire career, arrives in Starkville after serving as the inside linebackers coach at his alma mater of Vanderbilt the past three seasons. In August 2018, ESPN.com named him to its 40 Under 40, a list of ascending coaching stars. In 2017, 247Sports recognized Marve on its 30 Under 30 coaches list for rising stars in the profession as well as its 35 Under 35 list.
“I am honored and thankful to get to work on Coach Joe Moorhead’s staff,” Marve said. “Mississippi State has a storied football tradition with dominant defenses. I am eager to serve on this staff and uphold the high standard of defense that has been played here for quite some time. I am very excited to help continue the legacy of elite linebacker play in this program.”
Marve’s unit performed at high level in 2018 with the Commodores. Senior Jordan Griffin registered 119 total tackles, which ranked second in the SEC and among the top 30 nationally. Meanwhile, Dimitri Moore topped all SEC freshmen in tackles with 84 en route to claiming Freshman All-SEC honors.
In 2017, Marve's top pupil -- Oren Burks -- ranked second on the team with 45 solo tackles and 82 total tackles. After the season, Burks was selected by Green Bay in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Zach Cunningham, Marve's top understudy in 2016, enjoyed one of the greatest seasons and careers ever by a Commodore. He earned consensus first team All-America recognition en route to arguably becoming the most decorated defender in program history. Cunningham, who topped the SEC with 125 total tackles as a senior, is now starting in the Houston Texans' linebacker corps after being taken No. 57 overall by Houston in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Marve joined the Commodore defensive staff in 2014, working as a quality control assistant. After focusing on linebackers as a graduate assistant in 2015, Marve was promoted to the inside linebacker position prior to the 2016 campaign.
Marve also helped Cunningham and fellow linebacker Nigel Bowden to banner campaigns in 2014-15. Cunningham earned first team All-SEC by posting 16.5 tackles for loss among 103 total stops. Bowden was a Freshman All-SEC selection in 2014 after registering 78 tackles.
Marve became one of the most decorated players in Vanderbilt history by garnering All-SEC accolades in each of his four years (2008-11). His performance on the field also helped the Commodores to postseason appearances in the 2008 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl and the 2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
Marve quickly established himself on the defense, earning Freshman All-America and All-SEC honors in 2008 after registering 105 tackles and four forced fumbles. He capped the season with a 10-tackle performance in the Commodores’ Music City Bowl victory over Boston College.
As a sophomore in 2009, Marve earned second team All-SEC recognition from league coaches after posting career highs with 121 total tackles and 57 solo stops. He also averaged 10.1 tackles in conference play. In 2010, Marve again earned coaches’ All-SEC honors as a junior defensive co-captain. That year, he finished with 80 tackles and eight tackles for loss.
As a senior captain playing for Shoop, Marve contributed 91 tackles, earned All-SEC recognition from coaches and the Associated Press, and was instrumental in leading the Commodores back to postseason play. Marve’s final appearance came in his hometown at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
Marve ranks eighth on the team’s career defensive charts with 397 total tackles. His career total of 28 tackles for loss ranks ninth all-time among Commodores.
Marve completed undergraduate degrees in sociology and human and organizational development in December 2011. He recently earned a Master’s of Education in higher education administration from Vanderbilt’s Peabody School.
Marve, a Memphis, Tennessee, native is married to the former Lauren Dillard, a fellow Vanderbilt graduate.
2019-present: Mississippi State (Defensive Run Game Coordinator/Linebackers)
2016-18: Vanderbilt (Inside Linebackers)
2015: Vanderbilt (Defensive Graduate Assistant)
2014: Vanderbilt (Defensive Quality Control)
Bowl Games as a Coach/Player
2018 Texas Bowl (Vanderbilt)
2016 Independence Bowl (Vanderbilt)
2011 Liberty Bowl (Vanderbilt)
2008 Music City Bowl (Vanderbilt)
The Chris Marve File
Birthdate: March 1, 1989
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee (born in Fort Worth, Texas)
Education: Vanderbilt; 2011 (Sociology and Human & Organizational Development), 2015 (Master of Education)