Clemson associate head coach Rick Ray has been hired as the new head coach of the Mississippi St. Bulldogs, CBSSports.com writer Jeff Goodman reports. Ray doesn't bring much name recognition to the position, having spent his entire coaching career so far as an assistant. He worked under Matt Painter at Purdue from 2006-10, before joining Brad Brownell and the Tigers.
Ray's teams have had plenty of success, however. The Boilermakers went to consecutive Sweet Sixteens in his final two seasons with the program, and reached 29 wins in 2010, the most in program history. The Tigers went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Ray's first year, but missed the dance this past season after going 16-15 overall. Goodman was supportive of MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin's decision.
Mississippi State fans may not know Rick Ray, but I do -- and that's exactly the kind of outside-the-box hire I like from Scott Stricklin.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) April 1, 2012
Rick Stansbury retired as the Bulldogs' head coach after 14 seasons with the program. He cited wanting to be a better husband and father as his reasons for stepping down.
For more on Ray and the Bulldogs, head over to the SB Nation blog For Whom the Cowbell Tolls.