STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - New Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead continues to assemble his staff with the official announcement of two hires on Sunday.
· Bob Shoop, a veteran defensive signal caller with 29 years of college coaching experience, will serve as defensive coordinator and coach safeties.
· Marcus Johnson, a Coffeeville, Miss., native and the former offensive line coach at Duke, will coach the Bulldog offensive line.
Shoop has served as a defensive coordinator for 15 years, including two seasons at Tennessee (2016-17), two seasons at Penn State (2014-15) and three seasons at Vanderbilt (2011-13). Over his last 10 seasons, he’s coached 14 NFL Draft picks with three at Tennessee, five at Penn State, three at Vanderbilt and three at William & Mary.
“Bob is a terrific defensive mind,” Moorhead said. “He will put our players in position to succeed both on and off the field. We are excited to have him in Starkville.”
“This is a privilege to be a part of the Mississippi State family and join Coach Moorhead’s staff,” Shoop said. “I am excited to get to know our team and get to work. The foundation is here to have an outstanding football team, and I look forward to developing our players and maximizing their potential.”
Johnson played four NFL seasons and spent the last two years as the offensive line coach on David Cutcliffe’s staff at Duke. He returns to the state of Mississippi, a place where he was an All-SEC and all-state offensive lineman.
“We would like to welcome Marcus back to his home state,” Moorhead said. “Our players are going to enjoy playing for him. He was an All-SEC lineman and played in the NFL. He knows what it takes to be tough, physical and successful in this league.”
“My job is to make our offensive line the best it can possibly be,” Johnson said. “I want them to develop athletically, mentally and physically. I am here to be a mentor to our players, and I am excited about the challenge and opportunity. I am also grateful to get closer to home and my family.”
Shoop, the 2014 National Defensive Coordinator of the Year by 247Sports.com, oversaw units that finished in the Top 25 nationally in total defense from 2011-15. In 2015, Penn State ranked 15th in the country in total defense (324.3), 10th in passing defense, (174.5) and tied for the most sacks per game (3.54) in the nation. In his first season overseeing the Nittany Lions defense in 2014, the unit ranked second in the FBS in total defense (278.7 avg. per game) and seventh in scoring defense.
This season at Tennessee, Shoop coordinated a Vols defense that ranked sixth nationally against the pass, allowing 161.7 yards per game through the air. In 2016, Shoop oversaw a Tennessee defense that was decimated by injuries. Despite the injuries, he helped Derek Barnett earn consensus All-America honors. Barnett, who registered an SEC-best 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss, was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Johnson joined the Duke staff in July 2011 and was promoted to offensive line coach in February 2016. He worked two years (2011-12) as an assistant on the football program’s strength and conditioning staff and then served as offensive quality control for three seasons (2013-15). In his seven seasons, he helped guide the Blue Devils to five bowl appearances from 2012-17. Duke had not appeared in a bowl game since 1995.
Johnson worked with third team All-ACC center Austin Davis during the 2017 season. In 2016, he oversaw an offensive front that allowed time and space for four 200-200 performances.
Johnson lettered four seasons (2001-04) as an offensive lineman at Ole Miss under Cutcliffe, serving as team co-captain as a senior. He helped the Rebels to 28 wins over four years and a pair of bowl game appearances. After earning second team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press as a senior, Johnson represented Ole Miss at the 2004 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
A second round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2005 NFL Draft, Johnson spent four seasons (2005-08) with the Vikings and helped the squad to the NFC North Division championship and a playoff berth in 2008. After spending the 2009 campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he closed his playing career with a stint with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League.