Carthage native Victoria Vivians joins MS State women’s basketball staff


STARKVILLE– Mississippi State head women’s basketball coach Sam Purcell finalized his staff ahead of the 2024-25 season with the addition of Bulldog great Victoria Vivians in an Assistant Coach/Director of Scouting role on Monday.

Currently playing for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, Vivians will join the program in October and her role will span throughout the league’s offseason.

“It is a dream come true to join Coach Purcell and the staff at Mississippi State,” Vivians said. “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. I loved my time playing in Maroon and White in front of the best fans in the country, and now I am thankful to Coach Purcell for the opportunity to be a part of a program that I love and pour into our student-athletes both on and off the court. What Coach Purcell has accomplished in his first two seasons has been impressive to follow. I can’t wait to learn from this staff every day and be a resource for the next generation of Bulldogs. Hail State!”

A part of the winningest class in program history, Vivians helped transform Mississippi State into a national power from 2014-18 and was instrumental in compiling 126 wins and four-straight NCAA Tournament berths, including consecutive NCAA National Championship game appearances in 2017 and 2018. She helped surpass the program record for wins in each of her four seasons, a run that was capped off with a nation-best 37-2 record in 2017-18.

“This is a home run hire to bring Victoria Vivians back home to be a part of our staff at Mississippi State,” Purcell added. “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.

“Victoria helped transform this program and brought it to national prominence during her time in Maroon and White. This program, university and the state of Mississippi are in her blood. To have that energy, commitment and love for this place, combined with her knowledge of the game and her ability to teach it will be invaluable to our program and elevate it to another level. I can’t wait for her to arrive and watch her continue to have an impact every day.”

Vivians received All-America honors in each of her four seasons and in 2018 she became the first Bulldog to be named an Associated Press First Team All-American since LaToya Thomas in 2003. Vivians was also a three-time All-SEC First Team selection and one of only three players in program history to be named All-SEC four times over the course of their career.

The Carthage, Miss., native also remains the only player to win the CSpire Gillom Trophy, which is awarded to the best female player in the state of Mississippi, in each of four seasons and the only player to win it more than twice.

Vivians pieced together one of the most accomplished campaigns in program history during her senior season in 2017-18. In addition to being named an AP First Team All-American, she was also tabbed a Senior CLASS First Team All-American, WBCA All-American, USBWA Second Team All-American and ESPNW Third Team All-American. Vivians led the program back to the NCAA National Championship game and was chosen to the NCAA All-Final Four Team for the second consecutive season after also earning the honor in the year prior.

That same season, Vivians was named to the inaugural Naismith Starting 5, receiving the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the nation’s top shooting guard. She was also a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award, Wooden Award, Naismith Player of the Year and Wade Trophy. She would help guide Mississippi State to the first undefeated regular season by an SEC team since 1998 and the program’s first conference championship.

Vivians concluded her career as one of three Bulldogs to eclipse the 2,000-point plateau with 2,527 points, which remains the second-most in program history. She rewrote the record books at Mississippi State as her 923 field goals and 281 three-point field goals are also both second, while her 218 steals are fourth and 17.1 points per game remain sixth all-time in the program ranks.

She became the fourth player from Mississippi State at the time to be taken in the first round of the WNBA Draft when she was selected eighth overall by the Indiana Fever in 2018. 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.

A five-star recruit out of Scott Central High School in Forest, Miss, Vivians was also a two-time Mississippi’s Miss Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year honoree.

Vivians was crowned the 2017 Mississippi State Homecoming Queen and was a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection. Vivians graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Science in 2018.