Mississippi State Athletics Director Zac Selmon has announced that the university has extended the contract of head women’s basketball coach, Sam Purcell, through the 2026-2027 season after a successful year one.
In his first year in Starkville at MSU, Purcell became the winningest head coach at Mississippi State in their debut season with 22 wins while also becoming the first to have a winning record in the SEC after going 9-7 and finishing fifth in the conference.
“Sam Purcell is the winningest first year coach in school history for a program that has a strong and storied tradition of success,” Selmon said. “He is one of the top rising-star coaches in the country and has made an immediate impact through his expectations of excellence and his commitment to serving our student-athletes in their competitive, academic and personal pursuits. I am thrilled to continue working with Sam as we build upon the success of Mississippi State Women’s Basketball.”
Purcell guided the Lady Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament following a three-year hiatus. No coach in program history had made the NCAA Tournament before their third season leading the program.
In addition, Purcell became the fastest coach at MSU to win a pair of NCAA Tournament games. In winning two tournament games, MSU became the first team in NCAA Women’s Basketball history to advance to the tournament’s second sound after starting off in the First Four round.
Purcell helped guide two Lady Bulldogs to All-Conference honors during the 2022-23 season. He coached Jessika Carter to Second Team All-SEC honors and a place on the SEC All-Defensive Team and Debreasha Powe to the SEC All-Freshmen team after a promising rookie campaign for the Mississippi native.