Hughes hired by Miss. State

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 22, 2009

STARKVILLE — Tony Hughes has coached in just about every corner of Mississippi.

But now he’s at one place he has never been before — Mississippi State.

Hughes, who was an assistant football and head boys’ track coach at South Natchez High from 1986-1988, was hired as an assistant football coach for the Bulldogs by new head coach Dan Mullen Wednesday.

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Hughes was the defensive secondary coach at Southern Miss last year after spending the previous three seasons on Ed Orgeron’s staff at Ole Miss.

Hughes said the opportunity to return to coaching in the SEC was too good to pass up.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to get back into the SEC,” Hughes said. “That’s one of the reasons I came to Mississippi State. The SEC is the best football conference in the country, and this was an excellent opportunity for me to coach in this league again.”

Hughes was named one of the country’s 25 best recruiters by recruiting Web site in 2006 and has over 25 years of coaching experience in Mississippi.

Those factors were part of the reason that Mullen brought Hughes to Starkville.

“Tony is obviously well-known and well-respected throughout the state of Mississippi,” Mullen said in a MSU news release. “With his addition to our staff, we bring another tremendous recruiter and experienced coach to our team.”

Hughes was also excited to work with Mullen, who won two national championships as Florida’s offensive coordinator.

“(Mullen) is very excited and full of energy,” Hughes said. “You can feel his passion when he talks about football and talks about the state of Mississippi and what we can accomplish at MSU.”

And that vision is one of the things that Hughes liked about Mullen.

“He and I really hit it off as we talked about some different areas of the program,” Hughes said. “Being from Mississippi, I feel that I can help him within this state.”