A Q&A with Mark Ouimet

Gene's Page sat down with Mark Ouimet, Mississippi State's new Coordinator Of Recruiting Operations for football, Wednesday morning and talked about how he wound up at MSU, his thoughts about working with Dan Mullen, and what his duties will be. And he even talks a little Mississippi State baseball history, history he was directly involved in.

First question, how do you pronounce your last name?
Mark Ouimet - "It is pronounced we met, just like you would say when two people have met."

How did this hire come about?
"I met Dan Mullen at a Michigan football camp when I was working there. And he's worked with some people that I have worked with in the past down at Florida. He's a good guy who is high energy. And something I wanted to do was work with him. He asked me to come down to work in recruiting."

What kind of experience do you have in this kind of field?
"I was a GA at a division 2 school in Michigan. Then, I went to the University of Michigan where I was an assistant recruiting coordinator, then in player development after that. But we set it up so (those two positions) were tied together, like they will be here."

How many years were you at Michigan?
"I was at Michigan for four years, then I left there to do some other things outside of football, some family businesses.

"Then, this opportunity came about. I talked to Dan on the phone a couple of times. Then I talked to some people he has worked with just to get to know him a little better than I knew him, and get a good feel for when I came down here to visit.

"When I went home after visiting here I thought about it and liked it. Now, I'm here. This is my second full day here. And I'm excited to be here and excited to work with Dan and these coaches that I have heard about. I have heard a lot about Manny (Diaz) and Chris (Wilson) through some other people that I know."

Who will you be working with in your new position?
"It will be Rockey (Felker) and me and Tony Hughes, the recruiting coordinator, as well. I think it will kind of be set up like it was at Michigan. Tony will use us as an asset. I always like to say behind the scenes is what we will be. We will be in the office, supporting not just Tony and Dan, but the rest of the staff as well.

"I would say this anywhere I'm at, we need to become more organized, more focused. We need to get not just through the (recruiting) lists but who we need to directly hit hard. So, hopefully, we can get that done."

Is this your first time to be in Starkville?
"I've been here once before. I think it was in 1985. I was the bat boy for the Michigan baseball team. I was here for the regional. You guys had (Rafael) Palmeiro, (Will) Clark, (Bobby) Thigpen and (Jeff) Brantley. We had four Major Leaguers, too, Barry Larkin, Hal Morris, Mike Ignasiak and Scott Kamieniecki. Two other players (on that team) also made it to Triple A. Casey Close was the Triple A Player of the Year. Mike Watters made it to the Triple A Mariners team, then retired."

You still remember that regional, don't you?
"Yeah, I remember we beat them in the first game of the championship bracket. We lost and got in the loser's bracket, so we had to beat them twice. We beat them once, then they beat us pretty good in the championship game.

"This place (he looks toward Dudy Noble Field when he is saying this), as I told some of these people who are new here, this was by far back then the best college baseball environment in this country. They had that field in left field. And now they have that grandstand. It has changed drastically. But it was a great environment back then. Hopefully, they can win again."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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