Felker starts retirement after long career with MSU

Rockey Felker
Staff Writer

Rockey Felker’s name is nearly synonymous with Mississippi State football.
For parts of five different decades, Felker has had some association with the Bulldogs whether it be as player, head coach, assistant coach or, most recently, administrator. On this past June 30 though, Felker finally hung up his maroon and white, at least in an official capacity, as he retired.
“I don’t know if you ever know for sure when the right time is, but I felt like I was getting on up there a little bit closer and closer,” Felker said. “I just felt like it was time to take some time off and retire.
“I’m looking forward to playing golf and spending time with family and grandkids and getting away from what I’ve done since 1975 and all the preparation and coaching and all that goes into that.”
The 64-year-old Felker started his official tie to MSU back in 1970 when he signed a scholarship to play quarterback for the Bulldogs. By 1972, Felker was State’s primary signal caller. He finished up with an outstanding senior season in 1974 by leading MSU to a 9-3 overall record. Felker led the Southeastern Conference in total offense that year and helped the Bulldogs defeat North Carolina in the Sun Bowl.
The very next season, Felker started his coaching career at his alma mater. Then, 11 years later, after assistant coaching stops at Texas Tech, Memphis State and Alabama, Felker became State’s head coach. He’d hold that role until 1990.
Felker returned to MSU’s staff in 2002 as coordinator of football operations under Jackie Sherrill. He’d continue that job under Sylvester Croom until 2007 when Felker again became an on-field assistant coach for two seasons.
Upon Dan Mullen’s arrival in Starkville as head coach prior to the 2009 season, Felker became MSU’s director of player development up until the end of last month when he retired.
Felker said he’s not 100 percent sure what his next step may be. It seems safe to assume though, that wherever Felker goes or whatever he does, he’ll still be pulling for the Bulldogs.
“Mississippi State has been awfully good to me,” Felker said. “I’ve certainly been blessed. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities at Mississippi State. It has been a fun ride as a player, coach and administrator.
“I’ve worn a lot of different hats – from a helmet, to a head football coach, to an assistant, to an administrator, so I’ve got a lot of great memories and it’s all been a dream come true with all that’s happened to me.”