Amory native to coach Saturday's MSU Spring Game

By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal

Super Bulldog Weekend will have an Amory flair.

Amory native Steve Brandon, a Bulldog club member, bid for his chance to coach the White team against the Maroon team during Mississippi State’s Maroon-White Spring Game Saturday.

He’s the man, not Dan, as in Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.

“I asked a couple of questions of Coach Mullen and every question I asked, he said, ‘You’re the head coach, do what you want to do,'” Brandon said.

His opposing coach will be Brad Bradway coaching the Maroon team.

Proceeds from the auction benefit the football program.

“I’m terribly excited. I really am,” Brandon said. “I obviously didn’t think or intend for this outcome, but since I found out, I have gotten particularly excited about it.”

Brandon was scouting practice Tuesday and will again on Thursday The two coaches will draft players Friday morning. The coaches will also select their assistants before practicing Friday.

Saturday is the big day.

Each head coach gets to bring in one coach of their own picking, Brandon’s is Collierville, Tenn. native Dean Wingo.

Brandon said from what he’s been told, the toughest parts of the challenge are the pep talks.

“There are three addresses to the team,” he said. “One is during the practice, one pregame and one halftime. I was kidding with one of my friends and said I knew I’d have to bid high again next year if they do it because I’ll understand what I’m doing next year.”

Brandon does public speaking, so getting in front of people doesn’t bother him…”but this is obviously outside things I talk about every day. I’ve been on Youtube watching Lou Holtz’s speeches and some of the football speeches to try to see what they say. Of course I have a lot of my own thoughts of what I want to say. “Not to tip off what I’m planning on saying, but there’s a lot of pride in playing a Maroon and White game. I’m going to lean heavily toward the pride of playing in that game.”

The game will kick off on Saturday at 5 p.m., and will be televised on tape delay by CSS.

Brandon retired in 2002 after serving as Vice President for International Operations for SPEC Group.

He and four others founded SPEC Group, a staffing Company focused on the Energy and IT sectors. SPEC Group subsequently merged with TMP Worldwide to create what today is MONSTER Worldwide the parent of monster.com.

Brandon and his wife Patsy Fowlkes have been recognized by the university for their donations that led to the renovation and naming of Fowlkes Auditorium, completion of the women’s basketball locker room and a scholarship endowment.