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Report: Vandy Assistant Muller In Play At Mississippi State

Vanderbilt assistant coach Dan Muller is the latest candidate to replace Rick Stansbury as Mississippi State’s head basketball coach, according to a report from CBSSports.com.

Muller, who’s been a member of Vanderbilt’s staff for 12 seasons, also serves as the Commodores’ recruiting coordinator. Muller played for Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings at Illinois State from 1995-98.

Murray State coach Steve Prohm and Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew are the latest coaches to choose not to pursue the job at Mississippi State.

Could it be Dan Muller and Dan Mullen in Starkville? Perhaps.

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Cross Prohm Off Mississippi State’s List

Murray State basketball coach Steve Prohm won’t be Mississippi State’s next coach.

Murray State announced it has agreed on a one-year extension with Prohm, whose new deal will run through May 31, 2016.

Prohm’s base salary will increase to $270,000 and his total compensation will be $300,000 annually, which would fall well short of what Mississippi State was capable of offering.

“I love it here,” Prohm told CBSSports.com of his deal to stay at Murray State. “They gave me a great opportunity.”

Prohm was considered last week to be Mississippi State’s “primary target” to replace Rick Stansbury. Now, MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin will have to look elsewhere.

And with South Carolina expected to hire Kansas State coach Frank Martin, you can expect Mississippi State fans will push even harder for the Bulldogs to land a big name in Starkville.

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Murray State AD Says He’ll Have A Statement On Prohm In “Coming Days”

When word leaked out that the firm aiding Mississippi State in its search for a new basketball coach had contacted Murray State’s Steve Prohm, Twitter took off with reports that Prohm was the Bulldogs’ top choice.

Maybe, maybe not.  Search firms contact lots of guys.  Some of those calls are leaked to the press by coaches (or their agents) who want a nice raise at their current spot.  Some of those calls are never revealed.  The fact that Parker Executive phoned Prohm doesn’t necessarily mean he’s Scott Stricklin’s first choice to replace Rick Stansbury.

Good thing, because it sounds like Prohm is in the process of trying to work out a new deal at Murray State.  Immediately after his team’s elimination from the NCAA Tournament, the 37-year-old coach said he would definitely be back at the Kentucky school next season.  Now his AD is hinting that a new deal is in the works.

Reached for comment by The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Murray State athletic director Allen Ward said: “A this time, I’m not making any further comment as to coach Prohm and his contact with MSU.  I hope to have a statement in the coming days.”

Prohm just led the Racers to a 31-2 record in his first year as the school’s head coach.

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SEC Headlines – 3/21/12 Part Two

1.  The Alabama fan accused of placing his genitals on the face of a drunken LSU fan after the BCS title game is still waiting to learn if he’ll face prosecution.

2.  This writer says Nick Saban runs college football. 

3.  Tide quarterback AJ McCarron is already hitting it off with new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

4.  Here are five questions facing Auburn at the start of spring practice.

5.  An AAU coach says he didn’t convince a pair of freshmen to transfer away from Auburn.

6.  Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel will take part in the NCAA’s pre-Final Four dunk contest.

7.  Could Gus Malzahn and Arkansas State muscle in on Arkansas’ stranglehold on the state?

8.  Les Miles likes what he’s seeing at LSU’s spring practice…

9.  And what he’s seeing is improvement.

10.  Is ex-Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien is in Oxford for a visit.

11.  Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen only has two quarterbacks to split reps between this spring.

12.  Steve Prohm — reportedly a top target of MSU’s hoops search — makes just $195,000 per year at Murray State.

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Prohm Is MSU’s “Primary Target” For Hoops Job

According to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com, Mississippi State’s search to replace Rick Stansbury is focusing in on Murray State head coach Steve Prohm:


“According to sources, at least one person working on behalf of Mississippi State has already reached out to Prohm, whose Racers were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by Marquette on Saturday.  The next step in the process remains unclear.  But, multiple sources said, Prohm is Mississippi State’s primary target for now.”


Parrish also states that Prohm would be interested in MSU’s job because of the clear upgrade from Murray State (“prestige) and a big boost in salary (“milions of dollars”).  Prohm is also a good ol’ Southern man, raised in Georgia and an Alabama grad.  He’s also recruited the Magnolia State well for Murray State.

To make if more clear that State is targeting Prohm, WPSD-TV in Paducah, Kentucky is reporting that Murray State AD didn’t appreciate MSU’s search firm — Parker Executive Search out of Atlanta — placing a call to his coach last week during the Racers NCAA run.

“I think there’s a right way to do things.  Considering we were still playing — it is what it is.”  He said his coach handled things properly by alerting him to the “would-ya-be-interested” call he received.

Also in that television report it’s pointed out that Prohm said after his team’s ouster from the tournament (and after being contacted by MSU):  “Oh, yeah, I’ll be back in Murray.  I’ll be back in Murray.  I love Murray and I want to be at Murray.  We signed a great class and we’ve got great kids coming back.  We’ve got a great future here.”

Is that a play for leverage with State?  Maybe.  But after a meeting between the coach and Murray State AD that lasted “for several hours” yesterday, Ward said: “There’s a great chance he’ll stay.  In the end, I think he’ll be back.”

Prohm is 37-years-old and he just concluded his first season as a head coach, replacing Billy Kennedy who left the Racers for Texas A&M prior to this season.  Granted, a 31-2 record is pretty doggone impressive, but hiring Prohm would basically be like hiring an assistant coach — which is what he was from 1998 through 2011 at Centenary, Southeastern Louisiana, Tulane, and under Kennedy at Murray State.

When a major school hires an assistant said aide usually comes from a bigger program.  Had Prohm not had his one year in the sun this season, would State be chasing him?  Or is a one-year run long enough for Parker Executive and AD Scott Stricklin to truly gauge a winner?

Arkansas once hired a long-time assistant with one good year of head coaching experience under his belt named Stan Heath.  Heath left that program in a mess roster- and APR-wise when he was dismissed in 2007.  Five years later, he took South Florida on an impressive run to the NCAA tourney this year.  But that success doesn’t mean much for Arkansas.

Prohm makes sense in that he knows the SEC and he’s recruited Mississippi.  But his track record as a head coach is short and there’s no denying that Kennedy was the head coach as Murray State’s program was being built.

If, however, Prohm does wind up being Mississippi State’s man, expect us to write that “There’s a date for the Prohm” when the Bulldogs schedule the announcement.  There’s no way we’ll be able to avoid writing that.  Sorry in advance.

Meanwhile, Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton has also been mentioned in connection with the job in Starkville.

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USC’s Horn Nukes Murray State Rumors

Okay, let’s breakdown the latest nonsensical Twitter rumor to involve an SEC program.

1.  Murray State has an opening after its basketball coach — Billy Kennedy — took off for Texas A&M. 

2.  Darrin Horn is a Kentucky native who played and coached at Western Kentucky. 

3.  Horn’s popularity at South Carolina isn’t exactly peaking coming off a sixth-place finish in the SEC East and his team’s second losing season in a row.

So… Horn will head to Murray State to become the Racers’ new head coach.  At least that’s what hit the messageboards yesterday.

But, uh, no.  That ain’t happening.

Horn shot down the silliness saying: “Contrary to internet reports, I’m here.  I have no interest in being anywhere (else).”

And now here’s the reason Horn isn’t leaving — He has four years left on a contract that pays him $1.1 million per year.  Murray State can’t match that.  Also, if Horn leaves early, he would owe Carolina $2 million.

Not happening.

“Our resolve and our commitment is to continue to build our basketball program into one that we’re all proud of that has great success following the model we’ve seen on the baseball field and on the football field,” Horn said.  “We’re going to continue to stick with it and grinding it out and doing it the right way.  We’re more committed than we’ve ever been to that.  We’re going to keep fighting and clawing and scratching.”

Fighting, clawing, scratching, grinding.  I think Cock fans would settle for some occasional winning.

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SEC Headlines – 11/18/10 Part Three

1.  Sounds like LSU will take to the air to try to beat the Rebels this weekend.

2.  Everyone remembers the clock-bungling by Les Miles’ Tigers at the end of last year’s Magnolia Bowl.

3.  Andy Kennedy’s basketball team whipped Murray State 77-61 last night… in front of an announced crowd of just 5,721.  (Come on, Ole Miss fans.)

4.  Chris Warren’s streak of 46 straight games with a 3-pointer ended last night.

5.  Mississippi State is 5-1 at home and hoping some that home field magic will kick in against Arkansas on Saturday.

6.  The Bulldogs will have to prevent the Razorbacks from making big plays.

7.  Ahmad Black has become a leader for Florida.

8.  Jeff Demps’ injured foot has caused a lot of problems for the Gators.

9.  The basketball Gators will be without Alex Tyus (concussion) against North Carolina A&T tonight.  (I think they’ll survive.)

10.  Georgia coaches hope Aaron Murray will be back at practice by Monday.

11.  The Dawgs recent downturn might have something to do with a dip in pro prospects on the roster.

12.  Linebacker Jarvis Jones is looking forward to joining the Bulldog squad next year.

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