DAVID BRANDT,AP Sports Writer
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury says he is retiring after 14 seasons.
At a Thursday press conference, a red-eyed Stansbury said he "thought long and hard about this, but it's a time to start a new chapter and step away from coaching."
The 52-year-old Stansbury has led the Bulldogs to a 293-166 record over the 14 seasons, including 11 postseason appearances — but last went to the NCAA tournament in 2009. He averaged more than 20 wins per season and ranks ninth in wins in Southeastern Conference history.
But the Bulldogs collapsed at the end of this season, losing seven of their last nine games. The season ended on Tuesday with a 101-96 loss to Massachusetts in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
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2:30 p.m. - Stricklin, on the next coach: "We'll look for the right guy, right fit. There's no timetable."
1:47 p.m. - Stricklin said Stansbury's new role at MSU is to be determined, but accentuated his ability to develop relationships.
1:31 p.m. - He said staying at MSU for 22 years was because it was "something we chose to do is, because it's part of us, to build relationships."
1:31 p.m. - Stansbury said he and his family will remain in Starkville, will do whatever he can to help athletic department "move forward in every way."
1:31 p.m. - Stansbury said he and Stricklin met Wednesday morning. "We both agreed to this."
1:26 p.m. - Said of recent struggles, "There's nobody but me to blame for that."
1:25 p.m. - Stansbury said it was "my decision" to step down, didn't want to be one of those coaches that stayed at one place too long.
1:21 p.m.- Stansbury: "I'm ready to become a better father, a better husband."
1:18 p.m. - Stansbury: "It's time in my life to start a new chapter, to step away from coaching. I'm ready for it."
1:12 p.m. - I have seen some big-time donors here, including Richard Adkerson and Buzzy Mize. Still waiting for presser to start.
From Brad Locke's blog ...
Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury is working with the university on a retirement package, BulldawgJunction.com is reporting. A source tells me that this is Stansbury's decision.
A press conference will be held at 1 p.m. today with Stansbury and athletics director Scott Stricklin at the Bryan Building. The public is invited to attend. This is as close as we'll get to an official confirmation for right now.
Stansbury has been head coach at MSU for 14 seasons, compiling a record of 293-166. He's the winningest coach in school history and led State to six NCAA tournament appearances, never advancing past the second round. The Bulldogs also made five NIT appearances. The most recent NIT bid was this year, when MSU lost to UMass in the first round on Tuesday, 101-96 in double-overtime.
MSU finished the season 21-12, well below expectations for a squad that had two players – Dee Bost and Arnett Moultrie – earn first-team All-SEC honors. Fan dissatisfaction has been very evident.
Stricklin has rebuffed all attempts this week to talk about Stansbury's job status.
Stansbury has been at State a total of 22 years, serving as an assistant from 1990-98 under Richard Williams.
Click here for more at Brad Locke's Inside Mississippi State Sports Blog.
Read more on this story in Friday's NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.