After another underwhelming season of secondary play, Michigan State football and head football coach Mel Tucker announced Thursday evening that Jim Salgado, a former safeties coach for the Buffalo Bills, has been hired as the cornerbacks coach.
“Jim Salgado is an excellent, experienced football coach,” Tucker said in a statement. “I’m really impressed with his football knowledge. He comes highly recommended from one of my mentors, Leslie Frazier, and together they coached some of the top defenses in the NFL at Buffalo (No. 2 in team defense in 2018, No. 3 in 2019, No. 1 in 2021, No. 6 in 2022). Jim also has coordinator experience at the collegiate level, and really made a difference at Princeton, helping that program to two league titles. He has really good connections and can recruit nationally. He also has a great relationship with Harlon Barnett, so I’m excited to see them work together in the secondary.”
Salgado spent six seasons with the Bills, with last season being his first and only one, as the safeties coach. Before that, he spent two years with nickels and three as a defensive assistant. During his time in Buffalo, his defense regularly finished among the best in the NFL. He also oversaw Pro Bowl seasons from safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer along with cornerback Tre’Davious White.
Before taking a job with the Bills, he coached in the college ranks for 22 years. He was at Princeton from 2010 to 2016 before turning professional. As a player, he was a three-year starter at corner for Hofstra.
One of the biggest questions after the Spartans breakout 2021 season was the play of the defensive backs, and last season provided no real answers, even with Tucker prioritizing coaching them more.
Salgado will be joining Harlon Barnett on the defensive back staff, as Barnett is currently listed as the secondary coach. The extra position on the staff became available when pass rush specialist Brandon Jordan left to join the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff.
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