Sidelines with John Clay

Report: Rick Stansbury front-runner for Western Kentucky basketball coaching job

Former Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury, shown here coaching MSU in 2012, is reported to be the leading candidate to be the new head coach at Western Kentucky.
Former Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury, shown here coaching MSU in 2012, is reported to be the leading candidate to be the new head coach at Western Kentucky. The Associated Press

The Bowling Green Daily News is reporting that former Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Stansbury has emerged as the leading candidate for the same opening at Western Kentucky.

Stansbury, currently an assistant at Texas A&M under Billy Kennedy, is expected to meet with WKU officals this weekend now that the Aggies have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. No. 3 seed Texas A&M loss 77-63 to No. 2 seed Oklahoma in a West Region semifinal on Thursday night.

The 56-year-old Stansbuy, a native of Battletown, Kentucky who attended Campbellsville, was the head coach at Mississippi State for 14 seasons. He reached an agreement to retire following the 2012 season after going 293-166 at the Starkville school. He took the Bulldogs to six NCAA Tournament appearances.

His teams were 35-29 in the SEC his last four years at Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs have gone just 51-77 since his departure. MSU was 14-17 this past season under new coach Ben Howland.

The Hilltoppers have been in the market for a new coach since Ray Harper resigned on March 17 following the suspension of three players. The former Kentucky Wesleyan coach went 90-61 in four-plus seasons as the head coach in Bowling Green. Western Kentucky finished 18-16 this past season.

According to the Daily News, Xavier associate head coach Travis Steele and former Western Kentucky head coach Dennis Felton, now an assistant at Tulsa, are still in the mix for the WKU job, though Stansbury is believed to be the leader. Felton was the head coach at WKU from 1998 through 2003 before leaving for Georgia.

Rick Stansbury’s record at Mississippi State

Year

Record

SEC

Post-season

1998-99

20-13

8-8

NIT

1999-00

15-16

5-11

2000-01

18-13

7-9

NIT

2001-02

27-8

10-6

NCAA (2nd round)

2002-03

21-10

9-7

NCAA (1st round)

2003-04

26-4

14-2

NCAA (2nd round)

2004-05

23-11

9-7

NCAA (2nd round)

2005-06

15-15

5-11

2006-07

21-14

8-8

NIT

2007-08

23-11

12-4

NCAA (2nd round)

2008-09

23-13

9-7

NCAA (1st round)

2009-10

24-12

9-7

NIT

2010-11

17-13

9-7

2011-12

21-12

8-8

NIT

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