Mississippi State fired head basketball coach Rick Ray on Saturday. Three days later and the Bulldogs already have his replacement: former Pitt and UCLA coach Ben Howland. After taking two years away from coaching and working as a television analyst, Howland will officially become Mississippi State’s head coach later today. Howland had a 401-206 record in his career across three schools—Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh and UCLA—and has made it to three Final Fours.
Mississippi State has hired former UCLA coach Ben Howland to lead its men’s basketball team, the school said Monday night.
Mississippi State and Howland agreed to a four-year contract, multiple sources told ESPN. The four-year contract is the maximum length of a deal allowed for a state employee under Mississippi law.
Howland will be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Howland, 57, led the UCLA Bruins to three consecutive Final Four appearances from 2006 to 2008. He took UCLA to a first-place finish in the Pac-12 in 2012-13 but was fired after the season.
He has been a television analyst the past two years.