The Bulldogs’ sixth-season boss was named Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association today. One of five regional winners, Mullen is now up for the AFCA Coach of the Year national honor to be named January 13 at the organization’s convention in Louisville.
The AFCA picks five regional COTYs from each of the five NCAA or NAIA divisions, by vote of the active membership in those regions and divisions.
Joining Mullen as regional winners this season are David Cutcliffe of Duke, Jerry Kill of Minnesota, Gary Patterson of TCU, and Jim McElwain of Colorado State. Mullen and Patterson have led their 2014 teams to one of the College Football Playoff access bowls.
Mullen’s sixth Mississippi State team produced a 10-2 record, the most regular-season victories in the 115 years of Bulldog football. The 6-2 SEC finish was good for second in the Western Division, and State posted a 7-0 home record for only the second time at Scott Field.
This 2014 season also saw Mullen take on official offensive coordinator duties. Working with National Player of the Year nominee quarterback Dak Prescott, the Bulldog offense has broken or re-set 22 statistical records through the dozen games. And this is with one more contest yet to play, as #7-ranked Mississippi State will take on #12 Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl on New Years Eve.
State was also ranked #1 nationally, by the College Football Playoff committee as well as both polling services, for the first time ever. With a victory in Miami these Bulldogs will score the highest-ever ranking at MSU following a season.
With the players involved in final fall semester exams this week, Mullen is continuing the recruiting trips begun last week at the end of the regular season. He will be in Miami on Wednesday for the Orange Bowl coaches press conference along with Tech’s Paul Johnson.
The full bowl practice schedule was to be announced today, with campus work beginning Friday afternoon and running through December 20.
Also, Prescott will learn tonight if he is among the nation's premier players invited to attend the 2014 Heisman Trophy presentation. The Bulldog junior is up for three other quarterbacking or national player of the year awards, and can expect to also be honored this week when the Southeastern Conference releases both the media and coaches All-SEC teams.