Mississippi State

Fred Castro new MSU women’s basketball associate head coach

Credit: Mississippi State Athletics

Mississippi State women’s basketball head coach Sam Purcell announced Tuesday the addition of Fred Castro as an associate head coach.

Castro will also serve as the program’s offensive coordinator and will be responsible for providing opponent scouting, in addition to in-game offensive strategies, play-calling and adjustments. 

“Fred Castro is a phenomenal addition to our staff and program,” said Purcell. “With Final Four experience, he is a proven winner with an established resume of talent development and a reputation as one of the top offensive minds in our profession. His knowledge of how we want to run our offensive system and his ability to teach it will be unmatched. His work ethic is evident in how he advanced through the coaching ranks en route to becoming a head coach and his ability to connect and build relationships is like few I have been around. His nationwide connections will prove to be vital in our recruiting efforts and I have no doubt that he will continue to make our program better every day.”

Castro arrives to Starkville after eight seasons as head coach at Eastern Michigan, where he coached 10 Eagles to All-Mid American Conference honors. 

One of the most highly regarded offensive minds in the profession, Castro has spent over two decades of his career climbing the ranks from student manager to head coach and has held nearly every position within a program.

A proven winner, Castro has been a part of 10 teams that have participated in the postseason since 2001-02, including a 2016 NCAA Final Four appearance as an assistant coach at Washington.  

“I am thrilled to be joining Coach Purcell and the staff at Mississippi State,” added Castro. “What he has accomplished in the first two seasons in Starkville has been impressive to watch. He has a clear vision for where he wants to take this program and I can’t wait to do my part in helping him accomplish those goals. There are very few places that devote the commitment and resources to women’s basketball like Mississippi State so I am eager to experience that support and the energy of this community first hand!”

Castro was hired at Eastern Michigan following a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Washington, in which Huskies posted a 69-35 record and a trip to the 2016 NCAA Tournament Final Four. He primarily worked with the guards, vital in the tutelage of Wooden Award Kelsey Plum, and acted as the team’s offensive coordinator as the program defeated 14 top-25 programs in his time in Seattle.

Castro was vital in the 2015-16 campaign that saw Washington post a 26-11 record and advance to the program’s first Final Four appearance. Washington finished the year ranked in the top-50 in 11 statistical categories.

He arrived at Washington from the Tulsa where he served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2011-13. When Castro arrived at Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane were coming off just five wins, but in 2013 they won the Conference USA Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Castro helped put together a pair of top-50 recruiting classes at Tulsa, while also assisting with on-floor coaching, including practice planning, player development, and scouting. His final recruiting class was ranked 39th nationally and fourth among mid-majors.

In 2012, Castro was first invited to the Nike Villa 7 Clinic for the top-30 assistant coaches in the country. He attended the clinic yearly from 2012-15. In addition to Castro’s duties at Tulsa, he worked as an advance scout for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.

Castro worked as an assistant coach at the University of Albany during the 2010-11 season. He was responsible for on-the-floor coaching, game scouting, recruiting, game scheduling, and served as the liaison to academic and athlete support services. Castro helped coach the Great Danes to their first winning season since becoming a Division I program in 1999.

Prior to his stint at Albany, Castro was an assistant coach at Mercer for two seasons from 2008-10, where he helped coach the second-best turnaround in the country during the 2008-09 season with a 17-13 record, improving from the 2007-08 season by 12 wins, and earn the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference a year later.

Castro was an advance scout for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx in 2009-10.

Previously, Castro was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Rogers State University, an NAIA program in the Sooner Athletic Conference, during its inaugural season in 2007-08 where they went 20-11.

He also held various positions for the University of Oklahoma women’s basketball program from 2001-07, including video/travel coordinator (2005-07), volunteer coach (2004-05), and manager/scout team player (2001-04). While with the Sooners, Castro was part of six consecutive NCAA Tournament teams, including a Final Four squad in 2002 and back-to-back Sweet Sixteen teams. Oklahoma captured four Big 12 Conference Tournament championships and three regular-season crowns as well during his time on campus.

Castro, who hails from Denton, Texas, is a graduate of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Aviation, and was an instructor in the Aviation Department in 2004-05.

He and his wife, Cindy, have a daughter, Aliya and a son, Alonzo.

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