Steve Robertson - Genespage.com

Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen talks about his program's football facilities

Mississippi State has taken some solid strides in the facilities arms race since Coach Dan Mullen arrived. Davis Wade Stadium has been expanded, the Bulldogs have a state of the art weight room and a brand new football complex in the Leo Seal Jr center. Despite those advances, the Bulldogs always have designs on doing more to improve the experience for student athletes. Coach Dan Mullen offered his thoughts on where things stand with the Bulldog amenities in a one-on-one interview yesterday.

When Dan Mullen arrived in Starkville in December of 2008, the Mississippi State football facilities looked a lot different than they do now. The Mississippi State football offices took up the second floor of the Bryan building and Davis-Wade stadium was essentially open ended on both sides with one of the nation's largest video boards overlooking Scott Field.

Nearly seven years later, the Bulldog coaches and players have the 80,000 square foot 25 million dollar Leo Seal Jr. complex to stretch out in and chase their championship dreams. 

Last season, the newly expanded Davis Wade Stadium was unveiled as Mississippi State fans celebrated 100 years of Bulldog football on Scott Field.

With the work really never done, Coach Dan Mullen reports that the staff and administration at Mississippi State always keep an eye on the future and on what can be done to make the facilities more functional and attractive. 

"I think we talk about it all of the time, about different things," Mullen said following his weekly press conference. "I think the next step in football would be an expanded indoor facility. I think that would allow us to do a little bit more in there as far as the kicking game.

"We currently share the facility (Palmerio Center) with baseball, so if we had an expanded football field aspect of that down the road that would be beneficial. The facility we have now is very, very functional, but I think that would probably be the next step in facilities for us."

When it comes to strength and conditioning equipment, there is always some new technological break-through that makes older apparatuses obsolete. Mullen reports that the Bulldogs are not always looking to follow the trends when it comes to that sort of thing.

The veteran coach reports that he seeks the counsel of Bulldog strength boss Rick Court when it comes to the equipment he needs rather than what other programs may have.

"I trust Rick a lot," Mullen said. "One of the things with Rick is that he is always into cutting edge. We spend a lot of time together, so I listen to what he has to say.

"I love technology, but I don't want to throw money at a problem just because it's the newest, hottest trend. What's the reality of how it really helps? If it is something that can help us, then let's look into getting it and making it a part of our program. 

"I don't want something just because it's fancy. If that's all there is to it, then I'm good with just flipping tires."

Now that the Bulldogs have had the chance to settle into the Seal Jr. Complex and make it their home, there are some potential projects that may make the "home office" a little more eye catching.

"I think our facility here is great," Mullen said. "For us, we're going to continue to add to the complex. Maybe now we need to add aesthetically to the complex. That's something that we continue to talk about. 

"We want to continue to win and win more bowl games. You get more trophy cases that way. The more successful we are as a football program, the more we have to show to demonstrate what we have accomplished here." 

The Seal Jr. Complex opened in January of 2013 complete with study halls, weight rooms, a dining hall and a full complement of meeting rooms and coaches' offices. It is a facility that Bulldog coaches, players and fans can certainly be proud of.

When it comes to football, the Bulldogs may not be erecting new structures these days, but there is always a plan in place to keep things fresh in the eyes of visitors and prospective players.


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