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Miss State hires Ben Howland


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STARKVILLE, Miss. — In three different stops as a head coach, Ben Howland has established himself as a proven winner en route to leading his teams to the NCAA Tournament. Now, he’s been handed the task of getting Mississippi State back to the Big Dance for the first time since 2009.

On Monday, MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin announced the hiring of the highly-respected Howland as the 20th head basketball coach in school history.

A press conference to introduce Howland is set for 2:30 p.m. CT Tuesday on the floor of Humphrey Coliseum, and fans are invited to attend.

Howland, 57, comes to MSU with an overall coaching record of 401-206 with stints at Northern Arizona (1995-99), Pittsburgh (2000-03) and UCLA (2004-13).

“We have a coach who is a proven winner that’s taken three schools to the NCAA Tournament,” Stricklin said. “Ben is someone who is ready to invest in the people of Mississippi and Bulldogs everywhere, while bringing championship basketball back to the Hump. Mississippi State basketball can compete at the highest level, just as several of our other teams have done in recent years, and I’m excited to have coach Howland lead us back to that level.”

In 10 seasons at powerhouse UCLA, Howland led the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament seven times, highlighted by three-consecutive Final Four appearances (2006-08) in addition to four Pac-10 regular-season crowns (2006, 07, 08 and 13). He was the Bruins’ first coach since the late John Wooden to win three-straight conference titles (2006-08), and is the only head coach other than the legendary Wooden to have led UCLA to three consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances.

“I’m just so humble and grateful to be the new basketball coach at Mississippi State university,” Howland said. “I’m elated and excited the opportunity build a consistent winner here at State. I know we have some of the greatest fans in the country and I look forward to making them proud of our team and our efforts. Hail State.”

In 2005-06, Howland’s UCLA team advanced to the championship game – its first since winning the 1995 NCAA title – where it lost to Florida. The Bruins recorded 32 victories that season, tying the then-school record of 32 wins set in 1995.

During his illustrious tenure in Los Angeles, Howland compiled a 233-107 record (.682 winning percentage), including a 121-59 mark in conference play. In his last nine years, the Bruins finished in the top three of the conference standings an impressive seven times.

In his 19-year career as a head coach, Howland has led his teams to the NCAA Tournament 10 times and to the “Sweet 16” five times, in addition to the three Final Fours at UCLA. He has been a Conference Coach of the Year in three different leagues – 2006, Pac-10 Coach of the Year at UCLA; 2002, Big East Coach of the Year at Pittsburgh; 1997, Big Sky Coach of the Year at Northern Arizona.

“I am impressed with Coach Howland’s resume,” MSU president Dr. Mark E. Keenum said. “He has been successful at the highest levels of college basketball, and I have every confidence he will bring that same proven, winning formula to Mississippi State as well. I know the MSU family will embrace Coach Howland and his family and will fully support his efforts to put our Bulldog basketball team in position to compete for championships.”

In 2008, Howland became one of three coaches in NCAA Division I history to win at least 30 games in three consecutive seasons, joining Adolph Rupp (Kentucky, 1947-49) and John Calipari (2006-08). His 97 victories from 2006-08 stand as the most by any UCLA head coach in a three-year span.

During his tenure at UCLA, Howland had a Pac-12 best 18 players selected in the NBA draft, a total that ranked in the Top 5 nationally. The Bruins’ 13 NBA draft selections ranked among the Top 5 nationally from 2004 through 2013.

continue reading.......... http://www.hailstate...TCLID=209979194

This is a very good hire by Miss State. They've already upstaged Alabama's hiring. I don't think Alabama is going to be able to get anyone with as big a name as Ben Howland. I'll be stunned if Gregg Marshall leaves Wichita State for Alabama. I just don't see that happening.

The SEC just got a lot tougher with Ben Howland joining the conference.

Edited by Auburnfan91
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surprising hire...did not expect them to do that well.

But MSU has a pretty good basketball history overall and likely he will get them back to where they were as one of the better teams in the SEC.

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Good hire...will help making the SEC a stronger BB conference

Agree. A strong SEC helps everyone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

MSU was very smart to hire this guy. Good for them. Good for him. It's a nice opportunity.

And bammer is still looking.....or is that begging?

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