Using more than two decades of intercollegiate experience in communications, development and marketing, 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.
The Bulldog football team has advanced to bowl play each of the last three seasons. Record attendance, including a streak of more than 20 consecutive sellouts, has prompted a $75 million renovation and expansion of Davis Wade Stadium. The football program has recently moved into the $25 million Leo W. Seal, Jr. Football Complex.
Spring sports, including 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. In the 2012-13 academic year, 10 Mississippi State sports advanced to NCAA postseason play with six earning top 25 rankings during the season.
Stricklin has overseen coaching changes in men's and women's basketball along with soccer and softball. Each coach possesses the passion and excitement along with intelligence and discipline required to lead Bulldog athletic programs.
In the classroom, Bulldog student-athletes continue to excel. In the fall of 2012, for the second time in three semesters, Mississippi State's men and women athletes established their best-combined grade point average with a 3.04 for the term. In the spring, women’s sports posted an overall GPA of 3.25 and every female sports team earned a GPA over 3.0.
In 2013, 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, a new $25 million football practice and training complex as well as $75 million in expansion and upgrades to Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldog Club has solicited gifts totaling more than $25 million for the football facility, including a record $12 million gift from the Seal Family Foundation.
The Bulldog Club has initiated the most ambitious fundraising drive in the athletic department’s history – an initiative called “Today, Tomorrow, Forever” – to generate funding for new construction and upgrades to existing facilities.
Supporters are responding at the turnstiles as well. In 2012, Mississippi State fans packed Davis Wade Stadium for every game, buying all available season tickets for the third consecutive season and the third time in school history. Capacity crowds have become the norm as 23-consecutive home games have been sold out, and the school has created a waiting list that has topped 1,000 requests for season ticket purchases.
Stricklin certainly wasn’t a stranger to the Bulldog family or college athletics when he took over the reins at State.
A 1992 graduate of Mississippi State, the Jackson, Miss., native’s resume is highlighted by 23 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, 43, 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.
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