Mississippi State hires Victoria Vivians as assistant coach

Published 3:21 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

STARKVILLE — One of Mississippi’s all-time basketball greats is coming back to Starkville to mentor the next generation of Bulldogs.

The university announced Wednesday that Victoria Vivians, who led Mississippi State to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA championship game, will join the coaching staff for the 2024-25 season.

Vivians will be an assistant coach and director of scouting. She is currently playing with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and will join Mississippi State in October. Her role will span throughout the WNBA’s offseason.

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“It is a dream come true to join Coach (Sam) Purcell and the staff at Mississippi State,” Vivians said in a statement announcing the hire. “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.”

Vivians helped transform Mississippi State into a national power from 2014-18 and was instrumental in compiling 126 wins and four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths. The 2017 and ‘18 teams both reached the NCAA championship game.

Vivians received All-America honors in each of her four seasons. She finished her career with 2,527 points, which remains the second-most in program history. Her 923 field goals and 281 3-pointers are also both second, while her 218 steals are fourth and 17.1 points per game remain sixth all-time on Mississippi State’s career lists.

The Carthage native also remains the only player to win the CSpire Gillom Trophy, which is awarded to the best women’s player in the state of Mississippi, in each of her four seasons.

Vivians was selected eighth overall by the Indiana Fever in the first round of the 2018 WNBA draft. Over six seasons in the WNBA, Vivians has averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game and has started 92 of her 158 career games played. She is in her first season with Seattle after playing for Indiana the past five years.

“This is a home run hire to bring Victoria Vivians back home to be a part of our staff at Mississippi State,” Mississippi State coach Sam Purcell said. “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 and mentor to our student-athletes.”