Brownell talks about Rick Ray, process of finding replacement; Ray speaks out

by - Senior Writer -

Clemson head coach Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
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said he knew when he hired Rick Ray that the day would come when Rick Ray would leave for another program.

That day was Sunday, when Brownell’s Associate Head Coach took the head coaching job at Mississippi St.

Brownell hired Ray two years ago when he took the head coaching job at Clemson, luring Ray away from Purdue where he had been an assistant for four years.

“We knew that this day was gonna come when I hired him,” Brownell told TigerNet Sunday evening. “I told him, ‘Hopefully, if things go well and we do some good things, in two or three years you can get your own job.’ I am obviously excited for Rick and his family. It is a well-deserving hire for him and Mississippi St.”

Brownell told TigerNet that the Bulldogs were getting a quality human being as well as coach.

“Rick is a man of great integrity, a guy I think will do a fantastic job,” he said. “He will work hard at recruiting and impress their school and everybody involved with their program. They are going to play extremely hard, be fundamentally sound and disciplined and do things the right way on and off the court. He will build something their university and administration and boosters will be proud of. He is just a high-quality person and I am very proud of him.”

Brownell said he and the rest of his staff have been at this weekend’s Final Four in New Orleans, and a search for Ray’s replacement will begin after a few days of thought.

“I am going to take our time, collect names and talk to the staff in a few days,” he said. “We are all either at the Final Four or coming back from the Final Four, and in the next day or two we will all get together and talk it out. We will talk about what we need and what we are looking for. We need somebody that will be a good fit for the Clemson family and our basketball program. We know there will be a lot of interest. I will let a few days go by before I start the process.”

Ray released the following statement through the Clemson Sports Information office.

“I have so much appreciation for Brad Brownell. I learned a great deal
underneath him in my two years. I learned more about being a basketball
coach, how to build a program, and how to treat people.

“The biggest memory from Clemson will be the bonds that I had with our
players in such a short amount of time. I can’t say enough about how good
our basketball players were as people.

“Coming from the Midwest, I learned quickly about Southern hospitality.
It was certainly something my family and I will always remember. It is
not something that is just talked about, it is practiced every day. I
will always remember Clemson because of all the great people, and how well
they treated my family.”

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