As you have probably heard by now, Jack Lew, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, announced this week that the face of the ten dollar bill would be changing. The denomination, currently sporting the face of the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, will pay homage to a woman from American history starting in 2020.
Currency has always been a way for a nation or empire to honor those who have contributed greatly throughout its history. For some reason, I started asking the question, if Mississippi State began to print its own money, who would appear on what bills.
I decided to start at the top of the chain with the one hundred dollar bill. On the American currency, Benjamin Franklin graces the highest denomination of currency still in use. Without a doubt, Franklin played a major role in the development of the nation's identity. Though he was never the president, his words helped shape the American character.
When looking at Mississippi State athletics, though it is hard to tell what the future will hold, one could argue that should Mississippi State continue to develop and maintain a successful athletic atmosphere, much of it can be credited to one coach, Dan Mullen.
While he is not the athletic director, one would be hard pressed to argue that Mullen, along with Scott Stricklin, has not been the architect of the development of Mississippi State athletics in recent years. When Mullen came to Starkville, he brought an attitude of being a champion. He brought an attitude of no longer settling for second or third best. He brought an attitude that just making bowl games was not enough. He brought an attitude that this program, his program, deserved the best facilities available.
So far, that attitude has won. Mississippi State has not missed postseason play under his watch outside of his first year, and if officials could tell the difference between across the line of scrimmage and behind the line of scrimmage, the Bulldogs would have been to a bowl game in every one of his seasons in Starkville.
Dan Mullen has taken this program to heights it has never seen, and in the process, he has raised the expectations for other programs at Mississippi State. If the football team did not experience its recent success, would there have been as much pressure on the basketball program to figure it out? If the football team had not been so successful, would the frustration level with baseball be as high as it is. Mullen's success has made a lack of success in other programs something that fans will not want to tolerate.
While he may never go down as the "Father of Mississippi State athletics," Mullen has played an important role in the development and shaping of Mississippi State athletics as it is today. He inspires fans and angers foes with his words, and who knows, he might even be able to publish an awesome almanac.
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