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A SEC athletic director explains what he looks for in a coach

When it comes to the pinnacle of the coaching world, it doesn't get much better than leading a team in the toughest conference in college football.

With that in mind, the Mississippi State student newspaper sat down with athletic director Scott Stricklin to get some insight into the traits that he looks for when hiring coaches. While Stricklin wasn't the guy responsible for the hire of Dan Mullen back in December of 2008, he does provide some valuable insight from the perspective of an SEC athletic director.  

"I’ve always said there are four things I look for," Stricklin said. " I want people who have a great work ethic, people who are competitive...winning needs to be important to them...people who are intelligent and then people who know how to lead."

"You can’t read a book on John Wooden and be a good coach because it’s not as simple as taking what he did at UCLA 40 years ago and plugging it into what you’re coaching in this day and age. You’ve got to be smart to take what you’ve learned and then adapt it to the particular strengths and challenges of where you are and then adapt as you go along."

Stricklin added that being a "smart coach" is one of the most undervalued traits of successful coaches because smart coaches find creative ways to compete and be competitive in the SEC.

In the interview, Stricklin also shares the best kept secret of being an athletic director (being able to get in the locker room after big wins), as well as his take on the role of social media for an athletic director. Read the full interview here.

Author: Doug Samuels
Doug Samuels has been with FootballScoop since 2011. Samuels joined the FootballScoop staff after serving as a college scout as well as an assistant coach at the college level, where he was fortunate enough to have coached every offensive position by age 24. Samuels is a lifelong Michigan State fan, no huddle enthusiast, and currently coaches high school football in West Michigan.