Murray State AD upset with search firm calling Prohm last week

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After a 31-2 season, it was expected Murray State coach Steve Prohm would be targeted for many of the bigger college basketball vacancies across the country.  It's when he was targeted that has upset Murray State athletics director Allen Ward.

Ward told WPSD today a search firm, on behalf of Mississippi State, reached out to Prohm last week to gauge his interest in the Mississippi State job -- while the Racers were still in the middle of their season.  Ward says no one from Mississippi State has contacted him for permission to speak with Prohm, although that is just a professional courtesy rather than a mandate considering Prohm still has three years left on his contract.

"I think there's a right way to do things," Ward said Tuesday. "Considering we were still playing -- it is what it is."

Ward said after the search firm contacted Prohm, Prohm told Ward about the call. "Steve handled it the right way," Ward said.

While Ward may not be happy with the timing of the call, it's apparently not out of the ordinary. One coaching source tells WPSD search firms call coaches in mid-season all of the time to check on their interest.

CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish reported this afternoon Prohm is Mississippi State's "primary target" as they look to replace Rick Stansbury who retired last week after 14 seasons in Starkville.

Prohm did not return calls this afternoon.

Minutes after the loss to Marquette, and after the search firm had already contacted him, reporters asked Prohm about whether he would return to Murray State for a second season.

"Oh yeah, I'll be back in Murray. I'll be back in Murray. I love Murray and I want to be at Murray.  We signed a great class and we've got great kids coming back. We've got a great future here."

Ward says he and Prohm met for several hours Monday talking about the future and he hopes to get a new contract hammered out within the next week.  After their meeting, Ward sounded confident Prohm will be coaching the Racers next year.

"There's a great chance he'll stay.  In the end, I think he'll be back."

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