The Stricklin family: Sophie, Abby, Scott and Anne.
Director of Athletics
Now in his third decade in intercollegiate athletics, Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin has overseen a wave of momentum within the Mississippi State fan base during his tenure. From his first day on the job in May 2010, Stricklin, with a focus on the student-athlete, a commitment to great integrity, and a dedication to promoting MSU aggressively, has facilitated a stretch of unparalleled Bulldog success.
With an investment of over $130 million in facilities, a strong roster of successful coaches, and significant increases in Bulldog Club membership and donations, MSU Athletics has achieved its highest-ever Learfield Director’s Cup finish while consistently seeing the majority of its teams compete in post-season championships.
In an era that has seen 30-consecutive sellouts at Davis Wade Stadium and impressive football facility enhancements, Coach Dan Mullen's team has played in five-consecutive bowl games, while the Bulldogs spent five-straight weeks in 2014 ranked No. 1 in the polls for the first time in school history.
The sports of tennis, baseball, basketball, softball, men’s and women’s golf and track and field have each excelled and advanced to NCAA postseason play under Stricklin’s leadership. During the 2014-15 academic year, 11 Mississippi State sports advanced to NCAA postseason play, with eight earning Top 25 rankings during the season, while the women’s golf team ascended all the way to No. 1 in the fall. The year was capped by All-American Rhianwedd Price winning the 1500-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oregon, one year after Brandon McBride claimed the crown in the 800-meter run and two years removed from the baseball team playing for the national championship in Omaha.
In addition, 2015 also saw two MSU coaches earn SEC Coach of the Year honors in Mullen and Vic Schaefer, who led the Bulldogs to a school record 27 wins en route to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In the classroom, Bulldog students continue to excel. In the 2014-15 academic year, Mississippi State's men and women athletes posted a combined GPA of 3.0, the highest in school history. Also in 2015, Bulldog students 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 were completed prior to the start of the 2014 campaign.
The Davis Wade Stadium expansion and renovation pushed capacity to 61,337, making it the largest on campus football stadium in the state of Mississippi. In addition to innovative 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.
In the spring 2015, a $6 million renovation began on both the tennis and softball complexes, while a $40 million upgrade to Dudy Noble Field is in the planning process. In addition, construction is nearly completed for the new $2.2 million Mississippi State Golf Center at Old Waverly, one of the South’s premier golf courses. The project includes a 6,300-square foot team clubhouse with locker rooms, players’ lounge, coaches’ offices and indoor putting center, along with a 2,431-square foot indoor hitting bay.
Stricklin’s vision also drew attention when he announced the university is partnering with financial guru Dave Ramsey to help educate student-athletes in the area of personal finance. Ramsey’s “Foundations in Personal Finance College Edition” curriculum is now being incorporated into teaching MSU student-athletes the basics of finance.
His attention to detail has also proven to be vital in the hiring process, as he received rave reviews with the hiring of men’s basketball coach Ben Howland, who comes to MSU after leading Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh and UCLA to the NCAA Tournament, including 3 straight Final Four appearances with the Bruins.
In addition to engaging with Bulldog fans through personal interactions and social media, 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 has served as 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 has 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.
In 1993, 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, 45, 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.