The Stricklin family: Sophie, Abby, Scott and Anne.
Director of Athletics
In his third decade of experience in intercollegiate athletics, Scott Stricklin has built a wave of momentum within the Mississippi State fan base during his tenure as the director of athletics.
From his first day on the job as Mississippi State’s Athletic Director in May 2010, Stricklin, integrating the department’s three foundations of focus on student-athletes, possessing great integrity and aggressively promoting Mississippi State University, has overseen a stretch in which the Bulldogs enjoyed both on and off the field successes unparalleled in more than a decade.
In the midst of 30-consecutive sellouts at Davis Wade Stadium, and a $100 million investment in football facilities, Coach Dan Mullen’s football team has played in a school-record, four-consecutive bowl games. The sports of tennis baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf and track and field have each excelled and advanced to NCAA postseason play under Stricklin’s guidance. During the 2013-14 academic year, 11 Mississippi State sports advanced to NCAA postseason play, with seven earning top 25 rankings during the season. The year was capped by Brandon McBride winning the 800-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oregon. This came one year after the baseball team played for the national championship in Omaha.
In the classroom, Bulldog student-athletes continue to excel. In the 2013-14 academic year, Mississippi State’s men and women athletes posted a combined GPA of 2.90. In spring 2014, women’s sports posted an overall GPA of 3.15, with the women’s tennis team posting a GPA of 3.70.
Also in 2014, Bulldog student-athletes again excelled in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate, with all 16 sports far exceeding the minimum standard.
Stricklin has overseen record fundraising for Bulldog Athletics, which has produced new facilities such as the $11.7 million Mize Pavilion at Humphrey Coliseum, the $25 million Leo W. Seal Jr. Football Complex, as well as $75 million in expansion and upgrades to Davis Wade Stadium that is set for completion for the season opener against Southern Miss.
The Davis Wade Stadium expansion and renovation pushes capacity to 61,337, making it the largest on campus football stadium in the state of Mississippi. In addition to new premium seating options, a new brick facade and updated west concourse, complete with renovated restrooms and concessions, now greets fans attending games at historic Scott Field, which celebrates its 100th season of existence this year.
In addition to interacting with Bulldog fans through social media and personal interactions, Stricklin has also emerged as a regional and national leader in college athletics. He serves as chair of the SEC’s Working Group on Fan Experience, and is also the SEC’s representative on the NCAA Division I Leadership Council.
Stricklin certainly wasn’t a stranger to the Bulldog family or college athletics when he took over the reins at State in 2010.
A 1992 graduate of Mississippi State, the Jackson, Miss., native’s resume is highlighted by 25 years of experience on the collegiate level in various capacities at five different universities. In the two years prior to becoming athletic director, he served as Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at his alma mater, overseeing fundraising, football and men’s basketball scheduling, managing MSU’s all-sport agreement with Adidas, facility planning, and serving as the administrative sport liaison for men’s basketball and softball.
It was those types of day-to-day tasks that prepared the personable Stricklin to take over the top seat in the Mississippi State athletic department.
Yet it’s a journey that started during his formative days as a dedicated and tireless worker in the Mississippi State media relations department that’s led to his highly-respected career coming full circle.
Prior to graduating, Stricklin’s stint in the MSU media relations office included three seasons (1990-92) as the media contact for the nationally-renown baseball program. Upon graduation, he was named assistant media relations director at his alma mater.
He continued his climb up the ladder of success when he was named Associate Media Relations Director at Auburn, where he served from 1993-98. In 1998, Stricklin left Auburn to become Assistant Athletics Director at Tulane, where he served as the primary media contact for the Green Wave’s 1998 12-0 football team. Next came a four-year run in the Big 12 Conference at Baylor (1999-2003) as Assistant AD for Communications and Marketing.
In 2003, Stricklin returned to the Southeastern Conference at Kentucky and spent five seasons as the Associate AD for Media Relations, where he oversaw the day-to-day publicity of the tradition-rich Wildcat basketball program. It was his last stop before returning to Mississippi State in the spring of 2008.
Stricklin, 44, is married to the former Anne Howell, the youngest daughter of Basketball Hall of Fame member Bailey Howell. The couple has two daughters, Abby and Sophie.