Former Bethel University men's basketball coach Doug Novak, who left the school in August, has been named the interim women's head coach at Mississippi State after Nikki McCray-Penson stepped down for health reasons.

Novak was the men's coach at Bethel for eight seasons, where he had a 131-68 record and made the MIAC playoffs seven times.

Before his time at Bethel, Novak had been a men's assistant at Tulane and The Citadel, in addition to several other stops. He was associate head coach at Mississippi State before the unexpected promotion.

McCray-Penson, a Women's Basketball Hall of Famer who played at Tennessee, said in a news release Tuesday that she has been faced again with unspecified health concerns she had hoped were behind her. To devote time and energy toward addressing those issues, McCray-Penson stated that she decided to step away.

The Bulldogs were 10-9 in her lone season as coach.

Mississippi State made consecutive Final Four appearances in 2017 and 2018, losing in the title game both times. In 2017, the team ended UConn's 111-game winning streak in the national semifinals,

The school says it will conduct a national search for a new coach.