MSU WBB head coach McCray-Penson steps down effective immediately
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Mississippi State Athletics has announced that Mississippi State University Women’s Basketball Coach Nikki McCray-Penson has stepped down from her position, effective immediately, to focus on her health.
In a statement released by MSU Athletics, McCray-Penson stated, “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.”
McCray-Penson, a breast cancer survivor, announced on January 13th, 2014 via a release by South Carolina athletics that she had been diagnosed. McCray-Penson has not specified her health concerns upon stepping down.
“We appreciate the time and effort Coach McCray-Penson invested in our program and respect her decision to focus on her health and family. Throughout her time as a player and as a coach, Nikki has shown herself to be a competitor, and we fully support her as she takes some time away from the game to address her health concerns,” MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said in the statement released by MSU Athletics.
McCray-Penson was hired by Mississippi State in April 2020 following the departure of former head coach Vic Schaefer. McCray-Penson served one full season as the head coach of the Bulldogs where her team finished 5-7 in SEC play and 10-9 overall.
Associate head coach Doug Novak will serve as the interim head coach while Mississippi State begins a national search for its next women’s basketball head coach.