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April 5, 2012STARKVILLE, Miss. - At his introductory press conference on Monday, new Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said he'd like to retain a member of the former staff. On Thursday, he did just that with the announcement George Brooks will return as an assistant coach.
It's the first hire for Ray, who was named head coach on Sunday.
"I always had the intention of keeping somebody from the former staff for continuity, and George was a guy who did a great job of recruiting me to Mississippi State," Ray said. "That showed me how good of a recruiter he is.
"I really needed someone that can point me in the right direction of recruiting in our state, and I know George is very well connected in Mississippi because of his long time as a head coach at Meridian Community College."
Brooks, who played at MSU from 1992-94 and earned his degree in 1997, returned to his alma mater in 2010 after spending 12 years overseeing the program at Meridian Community College, where his teams won numerous conference championships. During his tenure at Meridian, he coached standouts Jamario Moon and Ronald Murray, who went on to enjoy NBA careers. He also had more than 20 players sign with NCAA programs.
"I'm just thankful I get to stay at the university I love, and one that is home for me," said the 38-year-old Brooks, who was also a student assistant coach for the 1996 Final Four team. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to work with one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country and continue to build on the tradition at Mississippi State.
Brooks, who has successfully recruited the South for 15 years on all levels, is the father of two sons, Garrison (12) and Justin (11) and two daughters (Katelyn (5) and Karrie (3).
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