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Happy Maroon Friday, everyone.
So quickly, the 2015-16 year of athletics is underway with games, practices and workouts striking up as our students are filling classrooms across campus. Plus, we’re only a week away from kicking off football season in Hattiesburg against Southern Miss. It hardly feels like it’s been a year since we were watching our Bulldogs open the expanded and renovated Davis Wade Stadium with a commanding win as they began the journey we all took together last fall.
Speaking of Davis Wade, I shouldn’t go any further without expressing my pride as we’ve sold a record 50,311 season tickets and counting for the 2015 season, with fewer than 300 tickets remaining. It appears the stadium was expanded in the nick of time. Your overwhelming support of our football team speaks to the dedication and passion of MSU fans, the hard work and sacrifice by our student-athletes and the leadership of Coach Mullen and his staff.
Our program has been built the right way – to become a steady, consistent winner over time and with a plan, rather than a flash-in-the-pan unable to maintain the sustained success we have had. We’ve now been to five-straight bowl games, ascended to No. 1 in the country and become a part of the national conversation.
Coach Mullen said when he arrived back in 2009 that the fans had to come and then the team would win, rather than the opposite order. From day one, you took his charge to heart as we’ve set record-after-record in ticket sales, attendance and now wins. The relationship between the program and those who support it is of the utmost importance and I thank you for helping our team reach these new heights.
VOLLEYBALL BEGINS PLAY THIS WEEKEND
The further we move into the year, the more teams we have in action. This weekend, our volleyball team begins its first season under new head coach David McFatrich. We were thrilled to add someone of his reputation and caliber to the Bulldog family and I’m looking forward to watching him develop the program into an SEC contender and a team we will all be proud of.
Those who have stopped by the open scrimmages already know what I’m about to say, but there is an energy around the team and on the court as they prepare for the season to begin. Coach McFatrich has preached to his players to give everything they have, try as hard as they can and play aggressively, even if it means occasional mistakes are made. It ought to make for exciting volleyball.
I hope you’ll join us at the Newell-Grissom Building this weekend for the Bulldog Invitational. We have matches both today and Saturday at noon and 7 p.m., all four of which will be broadcast online on SEC Network+.
‘RELENTLESS’ DEBUTS FOR FOOTBALL
I’m sure many of you have noticed the outstanding work done by our video department over the last year. Led by Bennie Ashford, Drew Walker, Derek Cody and Aaron Van Auken, Hail State Productions and our SEC Network broadcasts have distinguished themselves among the best in college sports. Starting this season, their talents will be applied to our football team as the behind-the-scenes series ‘Relentless’ will replace the previous format for the coaches’ show. Relentless will be available every Thursday morning at 10 only on HailState.com, free of charge.
Check out the trailer here.
THOUGHTS FOR CAMPBELL DALE
Over the last 18 months, many of us around MSU athletics have gotten to know a brave five-year-old boy named Campbell Dale. Diagnosed with a form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma, Campbell’s journey has been a difficult one and we have stood in support beside him along the way. His presence has been a reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the gift of life. We were incredibly lucky to have Campbell on campus Tuesday as he visited our basketball, baseball and football teams, a moment none who met him will forget.
As Campbell and his family move forward, they will be in the thoughts and prayers of all of us at Mississippi State. Thank you, Campbell, for being a part of our lives.
We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved. There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –
1. Buy Season Tickets
2. Financially Support the Bulldog Club
3. Get Others To Do The Same
Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.