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Racing back: Prohm returns as MSU basketball coach

Murray State Athletics

Murray State Athletics named Steve Prohm as the 17th head coach of the Racers men's basketball program Friday.

Prohm is a familiar face in Murray, having more than a decade of experience in blue and gold as both an assistant coach (2005-2011) and head coach (2011-2015). Now he'll lead the Racers in their first season in the Missouri Valley Conference in the 2022-23 season.

"I'm extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to return to Racer Nation," Prohm said. "I'm thankful for the belief and continued investments ushered by President Bob Jackson, Director of Athletics Kevin Saal and the great people who support our program. During my time away, this program has maintained an elite standard of excellence, consistently producing championship-level teams."

Prohm left Murray State in June 2015 to serve as head coach at Iowa State University, where he led the Cyclones to two Big-12 Conference Tournament wins and three NCAA Tournament appearances with three wins. With a career head coaching record of 201-124, Prohm has won 61 percent of his games in 10 seasons with the Racers and Cyclones.

Prohm's commitment to excellence established him as the program's all-time leader in winning percentage (.781) and the quickest to 100 career wins. He coached the Racers to two regular season Ohio Valley Conference titles and a 2012 NCAA tourney appearance. He hired immediate former coach Matt McMahon as an assistant coach in 2011 before heading to Iowa State. McMahon accepted a position as the named head coach of the Louisiana State University Tigers earlier this week.

MSU director of athletics Kevin Saal was highly complimentary towards Prohm in a release.

"As we envisioned the ideal profile for the next Murray State Men's Basketball head coach, it remained abundantly clear a commitment to character, integrity, student-athlete development, community, family and competitive excellence were critically important," Saal said. "Steve Prohm represents, reflects and personifies these, and many more, qualities. His skill set, experience and genuine love for Murray State will effectively guide our program as we begin our Missouri Valley Conference journey."

Prohm will be one of the most experienced coaches in the MVC when Murray State officially becomes a member. His 133 games coached at Murray State is fifth in the MVC and his 325 career games is sixth.

University president Bob Jackson also praised Prohm in the MSU release.

"I have known Coach Prohm since he arrived at Murray State University as an assistant coach," Jackson said. "Not only is he a successful coach, but a person of the highest integrity. I am extremely happy for MSU, Coach Prohm and his family, and our student-athletes. I look forward to this new era of Racer Basketball."

The university will host a public announcement at noon Monday at the Gene W. Ray Center for Murray State Basketball. It will be streamed on ESPN+ and Facebook with a press conference to follow in the Murray Room of the CFSB Center.

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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