Mississippi State football fans can be sure of one thing: Megan Mullen is not your typical coach’s wife. And she loves her new home in Mississippi.
The wife of MSU football coach Dan Mullen is a former sports reporter and Golf Channel anchor. She calls herself an avid sports fan … and now she bleeds maroon.
Mullen was recently the guest speaker at Meridian’s Rotary Club luncheon at Northwood Country Club. She was witty, down-to-earth and engaging. She talked a lot about sports and her journey to Starkville.
She recalled the night Dan interviewed late into the morning with former MSU Athletic Director Greg Byrne about the MSU head coaching job left vacant after the departure of Sylvester Croom. Months earlier, Megan had covered the US Women’s Open at Old Waverly — about a 20-minute drive from Starkville. On her assignment, she also ventured into Starkville to visit the campus and grabbed a bite to eat from Harvey’s.
She said she wanted to visit Mississippi State because at that time it was the only SEC campus she had never visited.
“Well, except for ‘That School Up North,’” she said, taking a subtle, light-hearted jab at Ole Miss.
When Dan called her about the Mississippi State job, she said he was nervous about accepting a position without being able to visit the campus.
“We have to do this without even getting to look at the facilities or town,” she said Dan told her on the phone that night.
“No problem … I have visited Starkville and the people there are great,” Megan said she told Dan at the time.
“He said, ‘what? When have you been to Starkville,’” she said. “So I got to tell him about my trip there to cover the U.S. Women’s Open and how great the people were.
“I knew then that I was meant to go to Old Waverly on that assignment; it had prepared me for that moment,” Megan Mullen told the Rotarians.
Since arriving in Starkville, Megan said she has fallen in love with the area … and the state of Mississippi. She fought back tears as she told the crowd how much Mississippi State meant to her family and how different it was from other places Dan has coached.
“The players here are different,” Megan said. “They have unbelievable character. I love them for the way they love my husband. But I also love them for who they are as people.
“We’ve been at other places where some players would take a quarter off or not give it their all the entire game … but these guys give it everything they have and they believe in Dan,” she said, her voice cracking. “They are always fighting.”
Megan Mullen — an avid sports fan who has covered NFL and college football as a sports reporter — said MSU fans will be impressed with this year’s football team.
“This team will be exciting to watch,” she said. “And they will be in a bowl game next year; that’s not even a question. The only question is where they will be playing.”
As this much-anticipated college football season approaches, MSU fans have a lot to be thankful for in what they have in Mullen … and not just the one walking the sidelines.
Fredie Carmichael is executive editor of The Meridian Star. He also hosts a weekly radio program from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. every Sunday morning on WMOX Radio, 1010 A.M. E-mail him at email@example.com.