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Howland front-runner for MSU job


While many considered Kentucky Assistant Coach Kenny Payne to be the front-runner for Missisissippi State’s vacant Head Coach position, Jeff Goodman reports that former UCLA coach Ben Howland is MSU’s top pick.

Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin has been looking for a replacement for Rick Ray, who was fired after three sub-par seasons in Starkville. Under Ray’s leadership, the Bulldogs finished this season with a 13-19 record.

Howland, who has been a television analyst for two years,  recently told USA Today he was interested in returning to coaching. He led the Bruins to three consecutive Final Four appearances as head coach, but was fired following the 2012-2013 season.

Three years ago, Stricklin met with Payne, a native of Mississippi, when he was looking to fill the head coaching spot after Rick Stansbury retired.


Article written by Ricki Barker

Writer of things. Watcher of sports. Wearer of blue. Sometimes all at once.

3 Comments for Howland front-runner for MSU job

  1. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    9:48 pm March 22, 2015 Permalink

    I think that would actually be a good hire for MSU. Let’s face it, hes the highest profile coach that would probably ever look in that direction.

  2. ukjaybrat
    9:45 am March 23, 2015 Permalink

    I thought Cal encouraged his coaches to only take coaching jobs where they will succeed almost immediately… no one will succeed at MSU. Not only is it NOT a basketball school, it just doesn’t get any high profile games to make a name for itself.

    • catdaddyd
      9:53 pm March 23, 2015 Permalink

      They play Florida and UK. They can always sign up for a pre-season tournament.