Former UCLA coach Ben Howland has reached an agreement in principle to become the next head coach at Mississippi State, a source told CBSSports.com on Monday.
A formal announcement is expected soon.
A source told CBSSports.com that Mississippi State AD Scott Stricklin was basically “locked-in” on Howland before firing Rick Ray on Saturday after three years, meaning this deal had been in the works, on some level, for some time. It’s also worth noting that Mississippi State is an adidas school, and that Howland has strong ties to adidas from his days coaching UCLA. That makes this marriage less out-of-nowhere that it might seem on the surface.
Howland made three Final Fours at UCLA.
He was fired not long after the 2012-13 season.
NBCSports.com was the first outlet to report serious discussions between Howland and Mississippi State. CBSSports.com reported earlier Monday that a deal was “imminent.”