Longtime U of L women’s basketball assistant coach Sam Purcell will be the next head coach at Mississippi State. Purcell will remain with Louisville through the team’s run in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
Cardinal head coach Jeff Walz confirmed the news with a tweet Saturday afternoon.
#CardNation join @UofLWBB in congratulating @SamPurcellCards; the new Head Coach of @HailStateWBK ! Thank you Sam, we are proud of you & know you will do a great job. Excited to finish out the NCAA Tournament with you on our bench. You’re getting a special one Mississippi State! pic.twitter.com/t9FQaQFD0L— Jeff Walz (@CoachJeffWalz) March 12, 2022
Purcell joined Walz’s staff as an assistant coach in 2013-14. He was promoted to associate head coach before the start of the 2017-18 season. With stops at Auburn, Tulsa and Georgia Tech before arriving in Louisville, Purcell has spent the past 19 seasons as a D-I assistant.
In Starkville, Purcell will be taking over for over for Doug Novak, who spent the 2021-22 season as the Bulldogs’ interim coach. Novak replaced Nikki McCray-Penson, who stepped down on Oct. 12 because of health concerns.
“I’m honored and humbled to be the head women’s basketball coach at Mississippi State University, and I am appreciative to John Cohen and the entire university administration for this opportunity,” Purcell said in a press release from Mississippi State. “The Purcell family is thrilled to be coming to Starkville, and we can’t wait to meet the team and the entire Bulldog Family. Mississippi State women’s basketball is synonymous with winning, and I fully intend to continue that winning culture. Hail State!”
Best of luck to Sam in Starkville. Let’s send him there with a national championship ring.