Before taking a promotion to the athletic director job at the University of Florida on September 26, 2016, that doubled his salary from $500,000 to $1 million (and bonuses that could increase the salary to $1.4 million) Scott Stricklin was the 16th director of athletics in Mississippi State University history. Stricklin began his role on May 7, 2010 when he took over for Greg Byrne, who left to become the director of athletics at the University of Arizona. He was named the 2016 Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year.
Stricklin graduated from Mississippi State in 1992, after working as a student assistant in the media relations office. He served three years as the baseball contact while an undergraduate, and was named assistant media relations director following his graduation.
Following a year at his alma mater, Stricklin was named associate media relations director at Auburn, where he served as the baseball contact from 1993-1998. In 1998, he took over the top media relations post at Tulane and coordinated media for the 12-0 Green Wave football team that season.
A four-year stint at Baylor (1999-2003) as Assistant AD for Communications and Marketing followed, before Stricklin returned to the Southeastern Conference as the Associate AD for Media Relations at Kentucky.
Stricklin returned to Mississippi State in 2008 as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs, overseeing fundraising efforts among many responsibilities.
He is the son-in-law of Mississippi State basketball legend Bailey Howell.
With an investment of nearly $140 million in facilities, a strong roster of successful coaches, and significant increases in Bulldog Club membership and donations, MSU Athletics has achieved the highest-ever Learfield Director’s Cup finish (44th in 2015-16) for any school from the Magnolia State, while consistently seeing the majority of its teams compete in post-season championships.
In an era that has seen 30-consecutive sellouts at Davis Wade Stadium and impressive football facility enhancements, Coach Dan Mullen’s team has played in six-consecutive bowl games, while the Bulldogs spent five-straight weeks in 2014 ranked No. 1 in the polls for the first time in school history.
In 2015-16, eight sports advanced to NCAA postseason play, with seven finishing ranked in the Top 25. Eleven first- or second-team All-America honors were won, while MSU broke single-season total and/or average attendance records in five sports (soccer, football, women’s basketball, softball and baseball). Two sports – baseball and women’s basketball – earned the opportunity to host NCAA postseason play. In addition, MSU won individual track and field national titles with Curtis Thompson (javelin) and Marta Freitas (1500m run).
All this success unfolded after Mississippi State sports advanced 11 teams to NCAA postseason play in 2014-15, with eight earning Top 25 rankings during the season, including the women’s golf team, which ascended all the way to No. 1 in the fall. The year was capped by All-American Rhianwedd Price winning the 1500-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oregon, one year after Brandon McBride claimed the crown in the 800-meter run and two years removed from the baseball team playing for the national championship in Omaha.
In the classroom, Bulldog students continue to excel. In the 2015-16 academic year, Mississippi State’s men and women athletes posted a combined GPA of 2.99 (second highest in school history), while 182 of the 340 Bulldog student-athletes had a 3.0 or better. Also in 2016, Bulldog students again excelled in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate, with all 16 sports far exceeding the minimum standard, with eight teams posting a perfect score.
Stricklin, who was named Under Armour’s Athletics Director of the Year in April 2016, has overseen record fundraising for Bulldog Athletic's, which has produced new facilities such as the $11.7 million Mize Pavilion at Humphrey Coliseum, the $25 million Leo W. Seal Jr. Football Complex, as well as $75 million in expansion and upgrades to Davis Wade Stadium that were completed prior to the start of the 2014 campaign.