Anagnost resigns as MSU soccer coach

Tom Anagnost, left, resigned as Mississippi State soccer coach on Friday.

Sports Editor

Tom Anagnost's time as Mississippi State's soccer coach is over.

After leading the Bulldogs to their best season in school history, Anagnost and MSU Athletic Director John Cohen announced his resignation on Friday.

Anagnost said he would be pursuing another coaching opportunity and calls the move a "personal decision" and "most difficult of my life."

In a message on Twitter Friday morning, Anagnost went into more detail about why he was leaving Starkville and the Bulldogs.

"I have always put my teams and career success ahead and at the expense of my personal life and well-being," Anagnost said. "A significant personal event shed light on this and gave me important perspective. It has challenged me to evaluate my priorities and what I want in my life. Of greatest importance is to be healthier, share my life with my future loved ones, friends and my family. This coaching move is one of the steps I'm making to do that."

Anagnost did not share what his future in coaching would be.

During his two seasons at MSU, Anagnost compiled an 18-12-6 record. He led the Bulldogs to a spot in the 2018 Southeastern Conference Tournament and their first-ever NCAA Tournament this past season.

Cohen said the job that Anagnost did putting MSU soccer on the map was "outstanding," and respects the decision he has made at this time.

“We appreciate his efforts in shaping our program into a winner," Cohen said in a statement. "We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors both personally and professionally. We have already begun a national search to identify our next head coach who will continue the positive momentum this program has established.”

The school has announced that assistant coach Josh Rife will serve as interim head coach. Rife joined the State staff in July 2018.

Anagnost thanked Cohen for his support of the program and also what MSU deputy athletic director Jared Benko and senior associate athletic director Jay Logan did for him.

Just because Anagnost is leaving the program doesn't mean he won't continue to follow the Bulldogs.

"Mississippi State is a remarkable place filled with the most wonderful people in the world. I believe the leadership in the athletic dept is hands down the best in the country," Anagnost wrote. "This young team has good players who are great kids that are prepped to do damage in the SEC. I know the next head coach here will be an incredibly fortunate person. I will forever have the greatest memories here and be a lifelong fan. Hail State."