Greg Knox - "(MSU head football) Coach (Dan) Mullen gave me a call while I was driving down to the Senior Bowl Monday. We talked and he asked me if I could come over. I told him I would and that it would take me about six hours to get (to Starkville). He called me back a little later and told me that we would meet in Birmingham on Tuesday. We met in Birmingham, sat down and talked a little bit. And the next thing is I'm here."
Did you apply for the job or did it happen another way?
"In the coaching profession your name gets passed around through assistants and head coaches. And my name got passed around and it came across his desk. And the rest is history."
When you met what did you talk about?
"It was more like we were getting to know each other. Getting to know the person, their personalities. It's kind of like us right now, we are trying to get to know each other. We talked a little football and the importance of the running back, and the things you have to do to be a good running back."
Did he hire you the same day he interviewed you?
"He made the offer that day. He told me to go home and talk about it with my wife which I did. I'm really excited to be here. And I'm really ready to get going."
Did you know Coach Mullen prior to the interview?
"I knew of him from just being in the SEC. You know who the coordinators are. You get the chance to watch them and study the things they are doing. Our paths had also passed on the road while recruiting."
What were your impressions of Dan after you met him for the first time?
"He is a very personable man, a man with great offensive knowledge. I liked the things he talked about as far as football goes, the things he would like to do with the personnel in his offense. I think that is the home run we need here at Mississippi State - that offensive mind. And I think he is going to do a tremendous job."
You said home run instead of touchdown. Are you a former baseball player?
"We use that term a lot. It's like with our running backs - we want backs who can hit the home run. We've seen base hitters. Base hits aren't bad, but we would like to have that home run hitter - guys like Jerious Norwood. That tells you what I mean by home run hitters."
What do you know about Mississippi State?
"I know that it's a gold mine. I've watched it for the last fourteen years. I've seen the success they have had when they went to the SEC title game. So, I know the type success this program can have. I think it's a gold mine and Coach Mullen is the right guy for it. It's a great situation for us all. I think he's put together a great staff. And I think Mississippi State is a great place. There are a lot of things to sell a young man coming out of high school."
I know quite often a new head coach will hire a staff that consists of a large number of coaches that he has worked with in the past. Although Coach Mullen has done that with a couple of the guys on this staff, for the most part this staff consists of coaches that he has never coached with. That tells me that he is going after the best and brightest that he can find.
"You are right. A lot of the guys haven't worked with him before. He's hiring good coaches, good people, good Christian men for his staff. And he's bringing in good recruiters. I think that this staff is going to be a great, great staff.
"and I really think that this staff will have a great working relationship. I think the players will see that great relationship and it will trickle down to them."
You seem to be a very personable person. That leads me to believe that you are an excellent recruiter. Do you feel that is a strength of yours?
"I try to be. It's all about building relationships. You have to get to know a person to build a relationship."
Do you think this state produces enough home run hitters to make Mississippi State successful?
"I think there are home run hitters in this state, whether it be high schools or junior colleges."
What are your hopes for Mississippi State?
"A national title. I think everything is shaking up for that - a good recruiting class, a good offensive minded head coach. And Mississippi State has always been a school - all fourteen years that I have been around it - that plays good defense. They've always been able to get good defensive players here. They just needed an offensive guy to go with that. Now, you have Coach Mullen here with two national titles. That's why I've always considered this place a gold mine."
Did you tell him during the interview that your hope for this program was a national title?
"I didn't, but he did to me."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.