By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Dan Mullen spent six years cutting his teeth as a graduate assistant at Wagner College, Columbia, Syracuse and Notre Dame.
Then in 2001, Mullen followed first-time head coach Urban Meyer from South Bend to Bowling Green to become the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach.
That turned out to be life-changing for Mullen, then 29 years old. Not only did he meet his wife Megan during his two-year stint in Ohio, but ultimately it led him on a journey to become Mississippi State’s head coach in 2009.
If Mullen had a chance to give the younger version of himself some advice, he wouldn’t change a thing.
“I like my life right now, I wouldn’t want to mess him up too much,” Mullen said. “I’ve got a great wife, two great kids, a job that I love and am around great people getting to coach great kids here. I’d be scared to say anything.
“If you watch movies, when you go back in time you might alter something throwing shockwaves into the future changing something and lose everything like Michael J. Fox in ‘Back to the Future.’ ”
Bowling Green went 17-6 during the 2001-02 seasons including a 5-0 record against BCS opponents. Mullen mentored future NFL quarterbacks Josh Harris and Omar Jacobs while with the Falcons.
“I grew up a lot while I was there, personally and football-wise,” Mullen said. “It was a good time and a good experience.”
Mullen’s past meets his present as 5-1 Bowling Green visits Starkville for homecoming on Saturday night. The Falcons have gone to five bowls since Meyer and Mullen left.
“They’ve been able to win consistently and build a solid foundation,” Mullen said. “It’s a great school and kids have a great time going there.”