Mississippi State women's basketball coach Nikki McCray-Penson steps down to focus on health | RopSport
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Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Nikki McCray-Penson steps down to focus on health


STARKVILLE — Less than a month before the 2021-22 season is set to begin, Mississippi State women’s basketball finds itself with an interim head coach.

Nikki McCray-Penson stepped down from her position to focus on her health, the program announced Tuesday. Associate head coach Doug Novak, who was hired last month, will serve as the interim head coach while the Bulldogs conduct a national search for McCray-Penson’s replacement.

McCray-Penson, 49, had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.

New Mississippi State women's basketball coach Nikki McCray-Penson spoke of the importance of relationships and championships during her introductory press conference Tuesday.

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“Over the past several weeks, I have been faced again with health concerns I had hoped were behind me,” McCray-Penson said in a school release. “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.”



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