March 26, 2009
Among the 75 or so spectators at Mississippi Stateâ€™s first day of spring football practice on Tuesday were coach Dan Mullenâ€™s wife, Megan, and his 1-month-old son, Canon.
Canon was born Feb. 13 and the smile canâ€™t be wiped from coach Mullenâ€™s face whenever he talks about his son.
Mullen has tried to spend as much time as he can with his wife and son during the transition from offseason conditioning to spring practice.
It has helped that his wife and baby have visited the office occasionally so the family could see each other a little bit more.
â€œIt was nice during spring break with nobody around to spend some time with the family a little bit,â€ Mullen said.
He said he would like to have more time with Canon, but he knows the demands on a football coach in the Southeastern Conference make that difficult, so he relies on Megan to take care of Canon so he can get some rest.
â€œMy wifeâ€™s life has changed drastically,â€ Dan said. â€œShe gets up and feeds him during the night while trying to let me get some sleep when I get home.â€
Mullenâ€™s family wasnâ€™t the only interested party at the opening of spring practice. Several area high school coaches were present, including Columbus High School coach Bubba Davis and members of his staff.
The Bulldogs continue spring drills with a workout at 3:30 today and a workout at 10 a.m. Saturday. All sessions are open to the public.
Coaches clinic nears
As part of spring practice, Mullen and the MSU coaching staff will host the 2009 Spring Football Coaches Clinic on April 2-3.
Mullen hopes to share the message of football and to build relationships with state high school coaches.
â€œIn addition to extensive instruction on every aspect of the game, the clinic will highlight our methods and techniques with on-field demonstrations by our coaches and players,â€ Mullen said.
There will be a full day of activities April 2, with sessions on NCAA initial eligibility, the base concepts of MSUâ€™s defense, the concepts of the spread offense, and a talk on how to develop a â€œplan to winâ€ by Mullen.
On April 3, coaches are invited to attend spring practice after the morning sessions.
For more information and to obtain a registration form for the event, call the football office at 662-325-8560.
There will be at least one Bulldog who will make the trip to Omaha, Neb., and the College World Series.
Taylor Blakely, a senior sports communication major from Winona, was offered a summer internship position at the College World Series. He has been a student volunteer in athletic marketing for the past two years.
Blakely said the opportunity to work the CWS is a dream come true.
â€œIâ€™ve wanted to do it ever since State when to the College World Series two years ago,â€ Blakely said. â€œI saw the atmosphere and how the tournament was run, so I really wanted to go out there and work for it.
â€œCarol Foreman told me I had been accepted. After I applied on-line through the College World Series Web site, she conducted a phone interview.â€
Blakely will report to Omaha after he completes exams in May, and he will work through the summer. He will return to MSU in the fall for graduate school.
While at the CWS, Blakely will assist with team hospitality, fan autograph sessions, and opening-day ceremonies. His other responsibilities will be to work in the NCAA offices on site and in the box office, as well as a host of other duties.
It will take a little work for coach John Cohen and his Bulldogs to join Blakely at the CWS this season, but he would love to see it happen.
â€œIt would be great if State came. Then I would have all my friends,â€ Blakely said.
MSU womenâ€™s golf coach Christi Sanders hopes her team can continue to improve this weekend against more nationally ranked competition.
The team left Wednesday afternoon for Liz Murphy Classic in Athens, Ga., where it will play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The women have struggled to consistently score high numbers on the course, but Sanders saw some bright spots at the LSU/Cleveland Classic two weeks ago.
â€œAt the LSU tournament, we had better individual scores throughout the tournament,â€ Sanders said. â€œI was excited to see weâ€™re having some better individual performances, but itâ€™s got to come together as a whole for the team to be more successful. The kids are getting the scores, but theyâ€™ve got to do it more consistently and more collectively throughout the team.â€
Along with the womenâ€™s golf team trip to Athens, tennis has a busy weekend. The men will travel to South Carolina at 1 p.m. Friday and will play host to Florida at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The women will play host to South Carolina at 2 p.m. Friday and will travel to Florida at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The track and field squad will participate in the prestigious Alabama Relays today, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, while baseball will be on the road for the second consecutive weekend with games at Arkansas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The softball squad play a doubleheader at Tennessee on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.
1. Hill, Gholar fuel Falcons' flight HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. EMCC offense having fun COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Mullen wants MSU to clean things up, get healthy COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Big region games on deck for locals LOCAL COLUMNS
5. Mullen balances calling plays, running team COLLEGE SPORTS