Mississippi State made quick work in hiring its next men’s basketball coach.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, the Bulldogs have reached a verbal agreement with Ben Howland to become the program’s 20th head coach and is en route to Starkville now.
Goodman reported that the parties have agreed on a four-year deal and will officially be announced on Tuesday. The university has yet to confirm the report.
Howland has been out of coaching and working for NBC Sports the past two seasons after being fired following UCLA’s Pac-12 Championship and NCAA Tournament run in 2012-13.
The 57-year old Howland sports a 399-208 record in 19 seasons as a head coach at Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh and UCLA. Howland led each of those programs to the NCAA Tournament including three consecutive Final Four appearances with the Bruins from 2006-08.
Howland guided UCLA to a runner-up finish in the 2005-06 season. He has led 10 teams to the Big Dance, won eight regular season conference championships and four conference tournament titles.
The Bulldogs fired Rick Ray on Saturday following three losing seasons. MSU has not made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2009.