DALLAS, TX – MARCH 31: Head coach Vic Schaefer of the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs reacts in the second half against the Connecticut Huskies during the semifinal round of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Final Four at American Airlines Center on March 31, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs won 66-64 in overtime. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

STARKVILLE, MS – Mississippi State announced today that women’s basketball coach Vic Schaefer will have his role expanded to include head football coach at the university, relieving Dan Mullen of his duties after eight seasons on the job and a 61-42 record.

“At the end of the day, coaching is coaching,” said Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen. “It’s about motivating your team, organization, recruiting. The specific nuances of each sport can be handled by specialized assistants. At least that’s the theory I’m going off of in naming Vic Schaefer our new football coach.”

Mullen was thought to be on the hot seat entering the 2017 season after the Bulldogs went 6-7 last year and as the program continues to languish far below the likes of Alabama in the SEC West, with Mississippi State posting only one 10-win season since their now ex-head coach took the job in 2009. Meanwhile, Schaefer has the Bulldogs in the national title game after ending UConn’s 111-game win streak and has won 124 games since taking over a struggling program five years ago.

“We love what Vic has done for the women’s basketball program, but I’m not breaking any news here by telling you how important football is in this state and to the university,” said Cohen. “My job is to put the best people in position to help us meet our goals and Vic has proven to be the best coach we have on campus. Now he will be given our most important job.”

When asked about the new position, Schaefer said he was not consulted about the expansion in responsibilities.

“This is the first I’m hearing about it, to tell you the truth,” he said. “Football? I don’t really know much about it. I’m a basketball guy. I guess I’ll at least consider it. I imagine they pay more than our whole women’s program is budgeted for a single season, so it’s definitely an intriguing offer.”

The Mississippi State AD also said he plans to approach several of the Bulldogs players about changing sports.

“Lots of men’s players have become great NFL tight ends, but no one has tried to do it with the female players,” said Cohen. “That’s discrimination. We’ve got a 6-foot-7 center in Teaira McCowan and more than five months to get her coached up for our SEC opener against LSU. We’re talking about a major red zone threat. I’ve never been more optimistic for our football program.”


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