Mississippi State basketball hires Clemson assistant Rick Ray to lead program
CLEMSON – Rick Ray is leaving the Clemson basketball staff to become the head coach at Mississippi State.
CBSSports.con broke the story Sunday afternoon.
Ray was a key assistant coach at Clemson the last two seasons under Brad Brownell.
Brownell hired Ray, known as an excellent recruiter, from Purdue when Brown accepted the Clemson head coaching position in 2010.
Brownell said Sunday that Ray was a “home run” hire for Mississippi State.
“Rick is a terrific coach in every sense of the word,” Brownell said in a statement Sunday. “He is a consummate
professional and is well-respected in the business. He is a relentless
recruiter and has worked with some of the best Xs and Os coaches in the
business, including Matt Painter at Purdue and Royce Waltman, who was my
college head coach, at Indiana State. He has the ability to be both
demanding with his players to make them better on and off the court, and
still develop long-lasting relationships with them. He is a great hire for
Brownell said a search to replace Ray will begin immediately.
Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin made the surprising hire because he wanted to “change the image of the program” according to CBSSportsline.com.
Ray was also a candidate for the Winthrop coaching vacancy.
Ray succeeds Rick Stansbury who was forced out after the Bulldogs lost in the NIT. Stansbury was in consideration to become Clemson’s head coach in 2010 after Oliver Purnell’s departure.