Mississippi State Hires Ex-UCLA Coach Ben Howland

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.

From ESPN:

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.