Dan Mullen: 'The first thing I did was throw a calendar down'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday July 26, 2017


Mississippi State has already started fall practice.

With the elimination of two-a-days, camps across the country start earlier. But a week into July is going even further. Dan Mullen says his spreading out the nearly 30 practices was about safety.

“The first thing I did was throw a calendar down in front of Dan Jacobi, our head trainer, and Nick Savage, the head strength coach,” Mullen said. “I said don’t worry about school or anything else, don’t worry about installation schedule. Let’s look at player safety, player health and player recovery and how you would spread out the practices?

“I took that information and tried to apply it, combining it with installation from the coaches and how they would like to install and then combine to the summer school class schedule, fall class schedule and everything to come up. This is what we came up with. For example, this week, we will practice the next two days in helmets, then we will take a day off. Then we will go three days with shoulder pads then will take a day off. What it is doing is creating a lot of recovery days in between for health.”

Mullen’s approach is different from his former boss, Urban Meyer, who isn’t starting real practices until a week after players report.

Another NCAA rule requires an entire day off each week during camp. Mullen’s trying to figure out what to do with the time. Classes at MSU begin on Aug. 16, which is on the early side of things.

“My wife asks, ‘Will you be able to come home for dinner any day?’ From the schedule, it looks like I might be able to,” he said. “There are days on the new schedule that the players are completely off. We can’t even do a life skills meeting with them, so I guess we’ll do some extra film study or go play golf. I don’t know what we’ll do that day.”

As a staff, I have to figure out what to do. It’ll be a big learning curve for us in what goes on this year, whether we like it or not. There are concerns. In the middle of training camp, there is no school and the players have a whole day off. So, I hope they’re well-behaved.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.