MSU has hired Clemson assistant coach Rick Ray as its next head men's basketball coach. Photo by: Clemson University athletics
April 1, 2012 4:12:03 PM
STARKVILLE - Sources close to the situation have confirmed Mississippi State University has hired Clemson associate head coach Rick Ray.
CBSSports.com national college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman broke the story earlier Sunday afternoon saying the deal with the Clemson associate head coach and MSU Director of Athletics was done.
Ray has just finished his second season at Clemson after four years as an assistant at Purdue University. He also was an assistant at Northern Illinois University for two seasons and Indiana State University. Ray is well known as a top nationally recruiter.
Messages sent by The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog Sunday were not immediately returned by Stricklin.
Under head coach Matt Painter, Purdue won 103 games during Ray's four seasons and reached the Sweet 16 twice. He helped the Boilers sign the Class of 2006 that included Robbie Hummel, E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson.
"Rick is a tremendous hire," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said in a university release last year after Ray was hired on the Tigers bench. "I've known Rick for years. He's an outstanding coach. He's a tremendous recruiter. He knows motion offense and man-to-man defense. We have very similar philosophies with how the game should be played."
In 2009, the Boilermakers won the Big Ten Tournament and were a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. In 2010, Ray helped the Boilermakers to 29 wins, tied for the most in Purdue history for a single season. Purdue was a No. 4 seed this past March and lost in the round of 16 to eventual NCAA champion Duke.
Ray was a part of the 2006-07 staff at Purdue that signed arguably the top class in school history, a group that was rated No. 5 nationally by Scout.com and No. 6 by Rivals.com.
Ray will replace Rick Stansbury after he retired earlier this month after 14 years as the head coach of the Bulldogs program.
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