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#HailState has become #HowlState as Ben Howland is set to become the new head coach of the men’s basketball program.
Howland is returning to coaching after a two year stint as a TV analyst, following his very successful run at perenial basketball pwerhouse, UCLA.
The Blog interviewed legendary MSU alumnus Nuke Gingrich to get his reaction:
Epic. Awesome. The wool is thick. Who would of thought AD Scott Stricklin had such a giant nutsack, to let go of his men’s basketball coach, with 2 years left on his contract, and go after a whale like Ben Howland. And then, to bring him in — I’m just beside myself with excitement. I believe I speak for the entire Bulldog Nation when I say, “Welcome to Stark Vegas, Coach Howland. We’re glad you’re here!”
Things happened quickly this weekend in Vegas, as the Saturday announcement of the non-renewal of Rick Ray’s contract was within a few hours followed by informed rumors that Howland had emerged as the leading contender for the position. Howland had reportedly wanted to continue his coaching career at a football oriented school. No doubt, Howland will get his wish at MSU and the SEC.
Consider this quote in an article from Bill Plaschke, LA Times.
“In my mind, my next job is where I’m going to finish my career,” he says. “I want to make sure it’s the right situation where we have great success.”
In typical Howland fashion, he then tightens his jaw and makes a promise.
“I’m really fired up about getting back into it, and I hope to do it next year,” he says. “And this time around, I will do the best job I’ve ever done.”
Yes, sir! It’s a great day to be a Bulldog.
See also: For whom the cowbell tolls
Update: It is Official! HailState Beat,
Statement from Athletic Director SS (Grasshopper): “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.”
The school will officially announce the hire on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum. Fans are invited to attend.