Mississippi College

MC Welcomes MSU Coach Croom to Wild Game Dinner

October 31, 2008

Mississippi State head football coach Sylvester Croom will be the keynote speaker at the annual Wild Game Dinner Tuesday, Dec. 9 to raise funds for Mississippi College athletic programs.

MC Athletic Director Mike Jones said the event should raise about $100,000. "Our athletic department at Mississippi College owes much of our success directly to the Wild Game Dinner."

In just six years, the dinner has generated more than $500,000 to help keep Choctaw athletics near the top of the American Southwest Conference and competitive nationally. Funds helped renovate MC athletic facilities and offices allowed for the purchase of vans and golf carts and launched the GoChoctaws.com web site that comes with the latest technology for MC fans.

Croom was the landslide winner as Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year Award in 2007 as the Bulldogs finished with an 8-5 record, including a win in the post-season Liberty Bowl. The former NFL coach and star Alabama football player under legendary Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, Croom is a Tuscaloosa native. He took over as MSU head coach in 2004 after the Bulldogs endured three straight losing seasons. His career as an NFL coach spanned 17 years.

At the wild game affair, Billy Joe Cross will be the featured chef with smoked venison, frog legs, fried quail, catfish casserole, steamed vegetables and dirty rice casserole on the menu. The event begins at 7 p.m. at Anderson Hall on the second floor of the B.C. Rogers Student Center on the Clinton campus.

Sponsorship levels at the dinner range from $100 per ticket at the Choctaw level to a $10,000 donation at the platinum level, including 25 complimentary tickets and recognition at the platinum level. There are other sponsorship levels such as gold - a $5,000 donation, silver - a $2,500 donation and blue - a $1,000 donation.

A live auction will also be conducted during the banquet. Items on the auction block will include golf clubs, a fishing and hunting trip, condo vacations, a furniture spree and a 1963 New York Yankees team-autographed baseball. Hall of Fame players like Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford were with the American League champion Yankees back then.

In recent years, other Wild Game Dinner speakers at MC have included Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco, former Major League Baseball pitcher Jeff Brantley and WNBA basketball coach Van Chancellor.

Jones, a Hall of Fame basketball coach at MC, appreciates the support from previous wild game dinners and predicts the upcoming one in December will be a winner. "We are blessed to have the level of support we receive from our friends and alumni and look forward to another great year."

For more information, contact Missa Turman at 601-925-3341 or email her at turman@mc.edu

Photo: MSU football coach Sylvester Croom

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