Former SEMO head coach Rick Ray lands at Colorado

Former Mississippi State and Southeast Missouri State head coach Rick Ray has been named an assistant coach for the University of Colorado men’s basketball team head coach Tad Boyle announced on Friday.

Ray replaces Anthony Coleman and will officially begin his duties mid-July.

Ray has 23 years of experience coaching at the NCAA Division I level, the last eight as a head coach. He spent the previous five years at Southeast Missouri State after initially joining the head coaching ranks at Mississippi State from 2012-15.

“I have a ton of respect for coach Boyle and what he’s done at CU,” Ray said. “He’s well renown in this business for doing it the right way. I want to work for people in that same ilk; Brad Brownell (Clemson head coach), Matt Painter (Purdue head coach), just reminds me of those guys who do it the right way and are in it for the right reasons.”

Boyle has known Ray for more than two decades, dating back to their days as assistant coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference; Boyle at Wichita State and Ray at Indiana State in the early 2000s.

“He’s a tremendous coach on every level,” Boyle said. “He can teach the game, knows the game, recruits and builds relationships with players. We are very fortunate to be able to bring him on board.”

Ray brings a wealth of relationships and recruiting experience in the Southeast and Midwest, and now turns his attention to the Mountains, and West, of the Pac-12 Conference.

“I’m in this business to help young men,” Ray said. “I’m there to help them on and off court. I want (the players) to know there’s no ego, I’m humble, I just want them to reach their goals and dreams in classroom and on the court. Recruiting is about relationships. I’m a person who is honest and truthful to recruits and parents and people appreciate that.”

Before embarking on his first head coaching position with MSU, Ray was an assistant coach, or associate head coach, at four schools over 15 seasons. During that span Ray’s teams went to seven NCAA Tournaments, including a pair of Sweet 16 appearances.

Ray spent two seasons at Clemson (2010-12), where he was the associate head coach. Ray also spent four successful years on the staff at Purdue (2006-10) and two seasons at Northern Illinois (2004-06). He began his Division I coaching career at Indiana State, serving seven seasons (1997-2004).

His most successful stretch was during those four seasons at Purdue where the Boilermakers won 103 games, including 15 over Top 25 competition. During his tenure, Purdue advanced to the NCAA Tournament each season and made the Sweet 16 his last two years there.

Ray’s best year at SEMO came in his second season (2016-17) where he led the Redhawks to 10 more wins than the year before, ranking 22nd among Most Improved Teams in NCAA I. SEMO finished at 15-18 and second in the Ohio Valley Conference West Division with a 9-7 record after going 5-24 and placing last in the league in 2015-16.

A standout player for Grand View College (Iowa), Ray was an All-American Scholar-Athlete and honorable mention all-conference performer in 1993. He earned his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and secondary education from Grand View in 1994. Ray received his master’s degree in athletic administration from Nebraska-Omaha in 1997.

In 2013, he was the recipient of Grand View’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Ray and his wife, Breyana, have two sons, Deacon and Mason, and a daughter, Katriece.

Story Courtesy: Troy Andre, Colorado Associate SID

Tagged with: