Mississippi State women’s basketball head coach Sam Purcell made official the hiring of Murriel Page as an assistant coach on Friday. Page is the third assistant coach added to Purcell’s staff following the additions of Gabe Lazo and Corry Irvin.
Page comes to Starkville following a two-year stint with one of Purcell’s mentors and current Georgia Tech head coach, Nell Fortner. While with the Yellow Jackets, Page helped guide Georgia Tech to a pair of NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2021. Working closely with the post players, which she will also do at Mississippi State, Page helped guide forward Lorela Cubaj to back-to-back ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors, WBCA All-America honorable mention honors and All-ACC First Team honors.
“Murriel is Mississippi born and raised and the absolute perfect final piece to my coaching staff here at Mississippi State,” Purcell said. “Being able to hire a coach that has played in the WNBA, was an All-American in the SEC, and has won at every stage of her career is invaluable for myself and our student-athletes. As a head coach, I want all my players to reach their dreams and play at the next level, and what better way to help them achieve those dreams than to give them the opportunity to learn from someone who has already done it? Murriel comes to Starkville and immediately makes our team better, and I am just so excited about this staff and this upcoming season!”
Page, a native of Bay Springs, Mississippi, spent 11 seasons in the WNBA playing for the Washington Mystics and the Los Angeles Sparks. She was the first player drafted in Mystics history when they took her third overall in the 1998 WNBA Draft. Page put together a remarkable career culminating in her being inducted into the Washington Mystics Hall of Fame in May as part of its inaugural hall of fame class.
“I’m grateful and excited to join Coach Purcell and the great staff that he’s assembled at Mississippi State, “Page said. “I’m looking forward to returning to my home state of Mississippi and the SEC to represent the Bulldogs. I can’t wait to start working with the team and continue to motivate and mentor our young women. It is an honor to be a part of a program that is rich in tradition and excellence. Hail State!”
Page brings over a decade of coaching experience after entering the coaching ranks in 2010 when she became an assistant coach at the University of Florida. While coaching at her alma mater, Page helped the Gators to three NCAA Tournament appearances (2012, 2014, 2016), five 20+ win seasons and 130 total wins. While in Gainesville, she also helped Gator student-athletes earn eight All-SEC honors, including three First Team All-SEC honorees highlighted by a pair of WNBA draft picks in Jennifer George and Ronni Williams.
Page spent three seasons at Central Michigan as an assistant coach, following her seven seasons in Gainesville. While working with the Chippewas, Page helped lead CMU to a 78-20 overall record, two NCAA Tournaments, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2018 and four MAC Championships. Primarily working with the posts, Page helped tutor three different players to become MAC Player of the Year winners, Tinara Moore, Reyna Frost and Micaela Kelly. Both Moore and Frost earned All-America accolades and became the MAC leaders in career rebounds.
Page was a standout player in the SEC and at the University of Florida, where she was a two-time All-SEC First Team honoree in 1997 and 1998, with multiple All-America honors in both seasons. Her 1998 senior season was one to remember as Page was a finalist for the AP National Player of the Year award, the Wade Trophy, and the Naismith Player of the Year award. She ended her Gator career as the second-leading scorer in program history with 1,915 career points and has the second-most rebounds in program history with 1,251 boards. She is the only Gator to record over 1,800 career points and at least 1,200 career rebounds.
Page graduated from Florida in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science.
Photo Courtesy Mississippi State AthleticsTagged with: Mississippi State SEC