MSU Women’s basketball coach Nikki McCray-Penson steps down to focus on health

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 3:50 PM CDT
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTOK) - 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 made a statement Tuesday saying, “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,” she said. “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,” she said.

MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen respects McCray-Penson’s decision adding, “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,” he said.

It’s been revealed by Mississippi State that 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 interim head coach.

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