John Cohen: A Winner's Mentality

In a recent interview with Scott Stricklin, the newly appointed Associate AD/External Affairs for the MSU Athletic Department, Scott talked about what he called the winner's mentality. In the conclusion of that interview, Scott referred to a man he worked with at the University of Kentucky who is now at Mississippi State who definitely has that type mentality - MSU head baseball coach John Cohen.

First, I'll quote what Scott means by a winner's mentality.

"I want us to have a winner's mentality. I want us to set our jaw and be competitive in everything we do and never allow losing to be acceptable. That doesn't mean someone needs to be fired if we lose a game, that means we have a mentality to go back and figure out a way to win."

Here's Scott's description of John Cohen and his winner's mentality.
"John played that way when he was here (at Mississippi State), and he coaches that way. And his teams play that way. (MSU head football) Coach (Sylvester) Croom's team played that way last year.

"Winners have that mentality. Winners expect to win and they understand that it is not going to be easy. You have to work hard and you have to compete.

"John definitely has that because he is a winner. He is a special coach. Regardless of sport, he is probably one of the top coaches in the country. And what is exciting is he is still early in his career. The possibilities are pretty much endless for John to do some great things and continue to build on the proud tradition that we have at Mississippi State, especially with the resources that we have in college baseball.

"We need that kind of mentality in everything that we do. Even at Kentucky, whenever a job would come open, (Kentucky Athletic Director) Mitch Barnhart would make the comment that we need to find a John Cohen for whatever the sport was. By that, he meant somebody who was as passionate, as smart, as intense and as competitive as John is.

"If you get enough of those people with those traits pulling in the same direction the sky is the limit. There is no reason why Mississippi State can't achieve some great things if we all have that kind of mentality."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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