DC swap? Louisville's Grantham heading to Mississippi State, while MSU's Sirmon coming to Louisville
University of Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is leaving to become defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, according to multiple reports.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — It's not a swap, but what else can you call it?
Shortly after Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel broke the news that Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham would leave to take the same position at Mississippi State, FootballScoop.com reported that the man Grantham will replace, former MSU defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon, will replace him at Louisville in a deal it says "has been in the works for some time," but which had been delayed until Grantham found employment.
Grantham, who reportedly recently changed agents, has signed a multi-year deal, the SI report said. A source told WDRB News he is taking a cut in pay to make the move to Starkville, going from $1.3 million annually -- the fifth-highest paid assistant in college football, according to USA Today -- to $1.1 million at Mississippi State. Grantham and MSU head coach Dan Mullen are friends. Grantham's brother Tony, insider linebackers and special teams coordinator, also could leave for MSU.
Sirmon has been defensive coordinator at Mississippi State for one season and before that was assistant head coach, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator for USC.
Grantham’s defenses in Louisville ranked among the best in the country against the run over the past three seasons — 12th in 2016, 14th in 2015 and 10th three years ago, his first in Louisville.
Mississippi State ranked 110th in the nation in total defense in 2016, and 93rd in scoring defense. Sirmon is well-known as a recruiter, helping USC to bring in the nation's top-rated recruiting class in 2015 and the No. 10 class a year earlier.
Sirmon played seven NFL seasons at linebacker with the Tennessee Titans from 2000-06, starting 54 games and registering 343 career tackles.
Grantham's departure comes just after secondary coach Keith Heyward, left the staff. FootballScoop.com reports that he will join the staff at Oregon, though he is not yet listed on that program's website.
To replace him, Louisville reportedly is turning to former South Carolina and Fresno State defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, who coached with Petrino at Arkansas.
Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.