BREAKING: MSU women’s basketball coach Nikki-McCray Penson steps down to focus on health

Mississippi State University Women’s Basketball Coach Nikki McCray-Penson has stepped down from her position, effective immediately, to focus on her health.

McCray-Penson stated, “Over the past several weeks, I have been faced again with health concerns I had hoped were behind me. In light of these developments, I have decided to step away from coaching in order to devote my full time and energy to addressing those issues. Although I look forward to returning to coaching when I am able, I believe this is the best decision for me and my family at this time. I appreciate the support MSU has shown me, and I will be pulling for the team’s success this season.”

MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said, “We appreciate the time and effort Coach McCray-Penson invested in our program and respect her decision to focus on her health and family. Throughout her time as a player and as a coach, Nikki has shown herself to be a competitor, and we fully support her as she takes some time away from the game to address her health concerns.”

MSU will conduct a national search before naming a new head coach. Doug Novak, who has served as McCray-Penson’s associate head coach, will serve as the team’s head coach on an interim basis.

Cohen added, “We have a remarkable group of student-athletes on our women’s basketball team, and we will devote our full resources to supporting them during this transition and throughout the season.”