Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray has hit the ground running his first week on the job.
Stateâ€™s 19th head coach has been on a whirlwind tour meeting players, administrators and fans over the past three days and during that time, heâ€™s managed to squeeze in a few staff interviews.
On Thursday, Ray announced two additions to his coaching staff in George Brooks and Wes Flanigan.
Brooks, who played for the Bulldogs from 1992-94, is well known by State fans as he has been a part of the MSU coaching staff for the past two seasons. His knowledge of MSU and Mississippi high school basketball made him a logical choice for Ray.
"I always had the intention of keeping somebody from the former staff for continuity, and George was a guy who did a great job of recruiting me to Mississippi State," Ray said. "That showed me how good of a recruiter he is.â€¨"I really needed someone that can point me in the right direction of recruiting in our state, and I know George is very well connected in Mississippi because of his long time as a head coach at Meridian Community College."â€¨As you might expect, Brooks is thankful for the opportunity.
"I'm just thankful I get to stay at the university I love, and one that is home for me," Brooks said. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to work with one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country and continue to build on the tradition at Mississippi State.â€ť
â€¨Flanigan comes to MSU via Nebraska, but State fans will know him best as the Auburn standout from the mid-90s. While on the plains, he earned All-Southeastern Conference honors averaging 13.4 points and 6.7 assists during his junior season.
"I've known Wes for a long time and recruited one of his AAU players when I was at Indiana State," said Ray. "I was really impressed with him then, and I'm even more impressed now. He's exactly what I was looking for.
â€¨"He has impeccable character. He's tough and he knows how to grind. He's really going to help us in the border states of Arkansas and Alabama in recruiting, and that was a huge criteria for me. Wes is a well-known name in this area and will resonate with our fanbase."
â€¨Flanigan has more than a decade of experience in the coaching ranks with stops at Nebraska, UAB, Arkansas-Little Rock and at Northwest Community College in Senatobia.
â€¨"I'm excited about being back in the South, in Mississippi and the SEC," Flanigan said. "I'm ready to get to Starkville and get to work. Obviously as a coach, I've grown a lot over the years. I just want to do whatever I can for Coach Ray to make Mississippi State the best it can be. The facilities are fantastic, and everything is in place to be successful."
â€¨During his career, Flanigan has experience working with guards and post players, making his a versatile addition to the staff from an Xs and Os point of view.
â€¨Ray expects to have his staff rounded out no later than early next week.
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