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Happy Wednesday, everyone, and what an exciting time to be a Bulldog!
As you’ve surely heard by now, we hired Coach Ben Howland as the new leader of our men’s basketball program, and it is on behalf of everyone that I welcome him to the Mississippi State Family.
It’s rare that a coach of his pedigree is available and we are thrilled the timing worked out so perfectly for us to call one of the best coaches in college basketball our own. Coach Howland has been named Coach of the Year in three different conferences, taken three teams to the NCAA Tournament (a total of 10 appearances) and went to the Final Four three straight years in his last stop at UCLA.
However, his hire is about much more than his resume for both he and our administration. Having spent time with him the last several days, I can tell MSU fans that you are getting a coach you will love and enjoy supporting. Coach Howland is a people person, he is extremely bright, he is a family man and he is a demanding coach. You’ll appreciate his basketball I.Q., his proven ability to recruit, his comfort with media and fans and his dedication to the people and places that make our Mississippi State family so special.
Days like these make me wish we could start the basketball season today, but while we look forward to the beginning of Coach Howland’s career here, we’ve got plenty going on around Bulldog Athletics to keep us entertained!
CONGRATULATIONS TO SCHAEFER AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Speaking of great basketball coaches, all of us at MSU offer our congratulations to Coach Schaefer and the women’s basketball team for their record-setting season. Reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the 27 wins for our Bulldogs set an all-time school record, quite an impressive feat given the history of the program under former coach Sharon Fanning.
All of you helped as we set attendance records for single games and the full season this year, an indication of just how exciting this campaign was to be a part of. We watched as our seniors had their dreams realized and as our freshmen went beyond even our wildest expectations. The job Coach Schaefer and his staff have done is incredible to already be at this point in their third season. I say on behalf of Bulldogs everywhere that we can’t wait to see what the future brings.
In the hubbub of basketball news lately, we dropped some exciting football news, as well. Coach Mullen and our administration have agreed to a home-and-home series with BYU. We’ll play in Provo on October 15, 2016, and the Cougars will come to Starkville on October 14, 2017.
Good luck to our teams on the road this weekend! Women’s golf is in Baton Rouge for the LSU Tiger Classic, men’s tennis (hosting Ole Miss today) heads to matches at Kentucky and Tennessee, our track and field teams are off to the Alabama Invite and soccer plays an exhibition match at SMU on Saturday.
Here at home, we’ve got SEC baseball against Auburn all weekend, SEC softball against Florida and SEC women’s tennis against Texas A&M Friday and LSU Sunday. It ought to be a fun few days!
We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved. There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –
1. Buy Season Tickets
2. Financially Support the Bulldog Club
3. Get Others To Do The Same
Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.