Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray has hit the ground running his first week on the job.
State’s 19th head coach has been on a whirlwind tour meeting players, administrators and fans over the past three days and during that time, he’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. "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." 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.”
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
Ray expects to have his staff rounded out no later than early next week.