Townsend prepped at Mississippi high school super power South Panola where he led the Tigers to the 1992 5A state championship game.
After a standout high school campaign, Townsend signed with Alabama where he put together an All-SEC career.
A fourth round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1998 NFL draft, Townsend was part of two Super Bowl winning teams during his 13 year professional playing career.
Townsend has served as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Arizona Cardinals over the course of the last two seasons.
With the hire, the Bulldogs' football coaching staff is now back to full strength.
Earlier in the week, former Mississippi State defensive line coach David Turner was announced as the replacement for outgoing Bulldog aide Chris Wilson.
Turner returns to Starkville after spending three seasons at Kentucky on the staff of long time friend Joker Phillips.
Last week Mullen promoted two-year linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator to the coordinator's post. Townsend fills the vacancy left by cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith, who left State abruptly during the Christmas break for a similar post at Auburn. His responsibilities were taken over by safeties coach Tony Hughes.
Collins will be the fourth overall coordinator in Mullen's five seasons but is not the ‘veteran' of the defensive staff. Hughes is the only remaining member of Mullen's first-year team on this side of the ball.
The offensive staff remains unchanged from the 2012 season. Though, just before the schedule kicked off Mullen had to make a quick move in replacing receivers coach Angelo Mirando. The change worked out spectacularly well though as hastily-hired Tim Brewster helped Bulldog wideouts to career-best years for catches and yardage and scoring as part of a record-setting passing offense.
Brewster is the third wide receivers coach under Mullen. The other positions are filled by the same staff as 2009 with Les Koenning as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, John Hevesy offensive line coach, Greg Knox running backs coach, and Scott Sallach tight ends.