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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Mr. & Mrs. Selmon: Athletic Director Zac, wife Rachel share their story of love

Zac (left) and Rachel (right) Selmon were married May 2009.
Courtesy Photo | Rachel Selmon
Zac (left) and Rachel (right) Selmon were married May 2009.

The sad, gray sky that engulfed Starkville Friday afternoon was lightened by the warm welcome and enthusiasm of two people in the Bryan Athletic Administration Building. Smiles, laughs and genuine friendliness from husband and wife, Zac and Rachel Selmon, led into an office outlooking Chadwick Lake.

Faced with difficult times, most young people have begun to put romantic relationships on the back burner. According to an article from CNN, a decline in romance is steady and real, but at Mississippi State University, athletic director Zac Selmon and his wife Rachel are an example of all that love has the potential to be.

Zac and Rachel have been committed to one another since their college days with Zac attending Wake Forest University and Rachel attending the University of Oklahoma. The pair met through friends and chose to date even while pursuing education at different universities.

On the topic of long distance, Rachel talked about how, although hard, it had its many blessings. In that the time she and Zac spent together became all the more special and intentional.

“It was almost like you cherished the moments you had together so much more,” Rachel said.

Both later reflected that long distance may have been a contributor to their ability to remain strong as individuals and true to themselves, as opposed to falling into the trap of co-dependency.

Their individuality also proves helpful in times of challenge. According to Rachel, the couple has found ways to navigate hardship and show support to one another.

“We are both very different people. He is the one in the household to remind us to not be soft. I tend to be much more sensitive, and he can be, but that is also probably one of the things I appreciate the most. It has changed me in a way that has made me so much tougher,” Rachel said.

Zac chimed in to her statement.

“It also starts in being grounded in your faith and coming back to the understanding that nothing in life is perfect. Also knowing that you’re committed as a family and being able to say, ‘It’s okay, we’re going to make it through.’ We have our health, our faith, and each other. That’s all we really need,” Zac said.

According to relationship professionals on Insight & Connection, the average number of times throughout the day we should be complimenting our partner falls around five. Five seemed to be easy numbers for these two, with both of them consistently building each other up and admiring the other with looks of adoration and respect.

Zac went on for a number of minutes detailing all that Rachel has taught him.

“She sees the best in everybody. She has a heart of gold and is the hardest worker,” Zac said, his voice full of pride.

Zac praises Rachel in her flexibility as a wife and for her undying support for their family and children, Shayne and Rylee. Both Zac and Rachel spoke about the importance of family, faith and intentional quality time, saying that they try to involve the kids as much as possible in every facet of their careers.

When asked if anything changed for them when their children came into the picture, they claimed that everything had.

“No longer can you be selfish at all. Everything in your world is about raising this baby, and I think that brought out the best in both of us,” Rachel said, following a fit of laughter as she recounted the moment she announced her pregnancy to Zac, and he sat down his controller to permanently resign from his Madden career.

Zac and Rachel offered advice about building a solid relationship.

“Always stay true to yourself. I think it’s hard to change who you are, and it’s hard to change permanently. Don’t stay disingenuous to yourself,” Rachel said.

Zac followed similarly in his words.

“Be true to what makes you be your best person. Because if you’re not your best version of yourself, you’re not going to be the best version for your partner,” Zac said.

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