Former Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton made some bold hires and tough decisions during his 20-plus-year tenure, such as:
Firing beloved head football coach and former State star quarterback Rockey Felker, and then hiring Jackie Sherrill in 1992 when other schools didn’t want to touch Sherrill because of his NCAA probation problems at Texas A&M.
“At that point, we had to find somebody who could bring a confidence to us and an attitude of changing the belief that we could compete on a consistent level in the SEC,” Templeton said. “It opened eyebrows when we hired Jackie, but I thought it was one of our better hires. We had a couple of NCAA problems, but he also took us to the SEC championship game (in 1998) and three straight bowls.”
Sticking with struggling Richard Williams as men’s basketball coach, when critics said that Williams, who never played basketball in college, wasn’t qualified to match wits with more experienced coaches.