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Victoria Vivians to coach at Mississippi State during WNBA offseason

Victoria Vivians is one of the most decorated women's basketball players in Mississippi State history (Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics)

A Mississippi State women’s basketball legend is coming home to Starkville.

Former Bulldog and current WNBA player Victoria Vivians has agreed to utilize the upcoming offseason as an assistant coach and director of scouting within Sam Purcell’s program. That means Vivians, who is in her first season with the Seattle Storm and sixth professional season overall, will be on staff from October until sometime in May when the 2025 WNBA season begins.

“This is a home run hire to bring Victoria Vivians back home to be part of our staff at Mississippi State,” Purcell said, per a release from the university. “It has always been a priority of mine to surround our student-athletes with additions that will equip them to be successful both on and off the court. Victoria has shined throughout her entire career and is still excelling at the highest level in our sport. There is no doubt that she will be a great resource.”

Vivians, a native of Carthage, played four seasons for Mississippi State from 2014-2018. Named an All-American each year, the guard/forward helped revitalize the program and led them to back-to-back national championship games.

Since being drafted No. 8 overall by the Indiana Fever in 2018, Vivians has averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists across 158 professional games. The short-term gig in Starkville could be a sign of something more permanent to come as it’s not abnormal for players to turn to coaching upon retirement. However, Vivians has not confirmed publicly if she plans to retire any time soon.

“It is a dream come true to join Coach Purcell and the staff at Mississippi State,” Vivians said. “This place is special and has always been home to me. The support for women’s basketball in this community is unrivaled and it means the world to me to be able to represent this program, university, and the state of Mississippi.

“I loved my time playing in maroon and white in front of the best fans in the country, and now, I am thankful to Coach Purcell for the opportunity to be part of a program that I love and pour into our student-athletes both on and off the court. What Coach Purcell has accomplished in his first two seasons has been impressive to follow. I can’t wait to learn from this staff every day and be a resource for the next generation of Bulldogs. Hail State!”

Purcell enters his third season in Starkville with a 45-23 overall record and one NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2024, the Bulldogs narrowly missed out on the Big Dance and instead landed in the WBIT, where they went on a two-game run before falling to Penn State in the quarterfinals.

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