After three seasons leading the Bulldogs, Mississippi State has terminated Rick Ray as head coach, athletic director Scott Stricklin announced in a news release Saturday (March 21).
"This has been a difficult decision, as I have the utmost respect for Rick, and I am highly appreciative of the effort he put forth in leading our basketball program," Stricklin said in a statement. "However, the on-court results have not been satisfactory."
The Bulldogs closed out the season at 13-19 and 6-12 in the SEC.
“Men’s basketball is important to Mississippi State University, and history illustrates that we can compete for championships on a consistent basis,” the statement continued. “MSU has won six SEC championships, in four different decades, under three different coaches. We have seen the Bulldogs play in the sport’s final weekend, and I firmly believe there are more achievements like those in our future.”
In a statement on Instagram Ray said he was “saddened” by the decision but thankful for the opportunity.
The school will pay out a portion of his salary, which is around $1 million per year. Ray had two more years on his contract, but the time was not fully guaranteed, Stricklin said.
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(Photo: Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI/Corbis)