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Nikki McCray officially named Mississippi State women's basketball coach

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Posted at 11:51 AM, Apr 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 11:51:56-04

NORFOLK, Va. (ODUSports.com) – Nikki McCray, who has coached the Old Dominion women's basketball team for the past three seasons, has accepted the head coaching position at Mississippi State University.

"I would like to compliment and thank Coach McCray for the outstanding job she and her staff did at Old Dominion," said Director of Athletics Dr. Camden Wood Selig. "During her three years, Nikki successfully brought ODU women's basketball back to being a conference champion contender and NCAA tournament caliber program which is the level our fans have been accustomed to enjoying."

"Coach McCray did everything we could possibly ask for and expect from a head coach at ODU. Her teams competed nationally, they excelled in the classroom, and they made numerous and varied community outreach contributions. The young women Coach McCray brought in have been role models for many both on and off the court."

McCray guided the Monarchs to a 53-40 overall record over the past three years, highlighted by a 24-6 record and a 14-4 mark in Conference USA play in 2019-20. Coach McCray also piloted the Monarchs to its second-straight 20+ win season.

The 2020 C-USA Coach of the Year led the Monarchs to its first win over a Power 5 since 2015 with an 89-77 victory over Auburn. She also helped the Monarchs regain national exposure when the Monarchs received votes in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll, making its first appearance in the poll since December 2008. Her squad was also named NCAA Team of the Week after its impressive overtime win over Rice, which snapped the Owls 30-conference game win streak.

In 2018-19, McCray helped the Monarchs post one of the biggest turnarounds not only in program history, but in the nation. The Monarchs went 21-11, marking a 13-win improvement from the previous season.

Over McCray's three seasons, she helped guide several Monarchs to eight All-Conference honors.

"We expect our head coaching position to be extremely attractive for candidates as a result of the dedication and efforts provided by Coach McCray these last three years," said Selig. "We will continue the upward trajectory that Coach McCray and our outstanding group of student-athletes have us on currently. I am extremely excited for and confident of our ODU women's basketball future."