The Mississippi State Bulldogs are in need of a serious makeover, and it all starts at head coach. Luckily, the team is finalizing a deal with one of the better coaches on the market.
Ben Howland has reached a verbal agreement to become the Mississippi State coach, sources told ESPN. He is en route to Starkville now.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 23, 2015
Ben Howland‘s last coaching job was with the UCLA Bruins. He saw quite a bit of success with the program as well. After all, he did coach them to three Final Fours in a row at one point. The Bruins are all about winning, though, so apparently three Final Fours wasn’t quite meeting expectations.
Mississippi State is coming off a 13-19 record. The Bulldogs didn’t see much success in SEC play either — finished 6-12 on the season.
Needless to say, Howland will have way less pressure to succeed at Mississippi State, and he will also get to coach in a power five conference — two huge pluses.
Although the Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators (except for this year) tend to dominate the conference on a yearly basis, the SEC is wide open after that. Translation: With one or two good recruiting classes, Howland could have this program rocking. Stay tuned for that one, though.
Regardless, the Bulldogs are getting a notable name. And a man who has coached on the biggest stage.
This is a perfect match and hopefully it is only a couple of years or so before Howland has himself a contender at Mississippi State. With that said, a bunch of work needs to be done first.