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Ex-MSU Assistants Talk About Exiting

When Rick Stansbury chose — cough, cough — to retire at Mississippi State, he left the lives of his assistant coaches and support staff up in the air.  The recently-hired Rick Ray chose to retain assistant George Brooks, but two other Stansbury aides have been shown the door.

Now they’re talking to The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal about that fact.

Marcus Grant told the paper’s Brad Locke that he expected to be retained when he met with Ray on Tuesday:

“Not only was I a coach here, I played here, was a standout player here.  I thought I could bring a lot to the new staff just like I did the old staff.  He thought Coach Brooks would fit in better with his staff and with his approach, so that’s the way he went.  I support that.”

Fellow ex-MSU assistant Phil Cunningham also spoke with Locke.  Cunningham had been on Stansbury’s staff since 2000 and just-departed point guard Dee Bost tweeted his support of Cunningham for the head coaching position when Stansbury stepped down.

Turns out, that was never a consideration, according to Cunningham:

“I would have loved to have had an opportunity to visit with him, and I thought I probably deserved that opportunity, but Scott (Stricklin) chose not to, and that’s his decision.  Hey, no hard feelings.  In this business, that’s the way it is.”

When he learned that he would not get a shot at the top job, Cunningham says he declined the opportunity to discuss an assistant coaching job with Ray.

Disappointed?  Clearly.  Lobbing Molotov cocktails at the program on their way out the door?  Certainly not.  Assistant coaches can’t afford to do that.  People who hire pay attention to how people handle being fired.

By making these comments to the press, Grant and Cunningham have done nothing to damage their chances of landing somewhere else in the future.



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