Basketball

Nikki McCray-Penson steps down ahead of Mississippi State women’s basketball season due to health reasons

STARKVILLE, MS - January 03, 2021 - Mississippi State Guard JaMya Mingo-Young (#0) during the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, MS. Photo By Austin Perryman/Mississippi State.
Photo: Austin Perryman/Mississippi State.

The Mississippi State women’s basketball team will be entering into the 2021-2022 season with an interim head coach as Nikki McCray-Penson stepped down from her position due to health concerns. Mississippi State announced McCray-Penson’s decision to step down Tuesday afternoon.

In a news release, McCray-Penson issued the following statement:

“Over the past several weeks, I have been faced again with health concerns I had hoped were behind me. In light of these developments, I have decided to step away from coaching in order to devote my full time and energy to addressing those issues. Although I look forward to returning to coaching when I am able, I believe this is the best decision for me and my family at this time. I appreciate the support MSU has shown me, and I will be pulling for the team’s success this season.”

Mississippi State official news release

According to the news release, Mississippi State plans to enter into the 2021-2022 women’s basketball season with Doug Novak serving as the Bulldogs’ head coach. Novak was initially hired as an associate head coach for Mississippi State and has a lengthy record of coaching experience at various different stops.

To learn more about Novak, click here.

Mississippi State to conduct national coaching search to find next women’s basketball coach

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Mississippi State announced plans to conduct a “national search” as it tries to find McCray-Penson’s successor as the head coach of the Bulldogs. It is not currently clear as to who the Bulldogs might consider or target during their search.

Unfortunately, McCray-Penson was only in Starkville for a brief period and will not have an opportunity to bounce back after a rough first season at MSU. During her one season, McCray-Penson and the Bulldogs only managed to go 10-9. However, prior to arriving at MSU, McCray-Penson proved to be a successful head coach at Old Dominion University and she’ll leave Mississippi State with a 63-48 overall record as a head coach.

For more independent Mississippi State news and commentary, follow The Underdog Tribune on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Ethan Lee on Facebook and Twitter.

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