ITTA BENA, Miss. -- Lafayette Stribling, Mississippi Valley
State men's basketball coach for the last 22 seasons, retired
Stribling, who had a 315-207 record with the Delta Devils,
notified athletic director Lonza Hardy Jr. in a letter that he will
retire effective June 30, according to a statement issued by the
Mississippi Valley State was 13-15 last season, 11-7 in the
Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Delta Devils lost to Jackson
State in the first round of the conference tournament.
"The entire Mississippi Valley State University family applauds
Coach Stribling for his 20-plus years of service to our
institution," MVSU President Lester C. Newman said in the
statement. "What Coach Stribling has done for our athletics
program, as well as the university in general, is phenomenal."
Stribling took over the Delta Devils in 1983 and led them to
their first winning season as a Division I program. He took
Mississippi Valley State to the NCAA tournament three times, most
recently in 1996. Stribling coached high school basketball in
Mississippi for 26 years before going to Mississippi Valley State.
"When you think of Valley basketball, you automatically think
of Coach Stribling," Hardy said. "He took over a little-heard-of
program in 1983 and elevated it into a respected national power.
His winning ways has made him a college basketball icon."
Hardy said he hopes to find a replacement for Stribling by