Mississippi State fired Rick Ray on Saturday after he posted a 37–60 record over three seasons, including a 13–41 mark in SEC play.
The Bulldogs have not reached the NCAA tournament since 2009. They went 13–19 this season (6–12 SEC), ending the year with a 74–68 loss to Auburn in the first round of the SEC tournament.
Howland, 57, coached at UCLA for 10 years from 2003 to 2013, leading the Bruins to seven NCAA tournaments and three consecutive Final Fours. In his last season at UCLA, the Bruins won the Pac-12 regular-season title after finishing 25–10 and 13–5 in conference play.
Howland has worked as a television analyst for FOX and NBC since being fired in 2013.
- Mike Fiammetta