OFFICIAL: Figger tabbed Head Basketball Coach at UTRGV

 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vice President and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque announced on Monday the hiring of 2017-18 Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Coach of the Year Matt Figger, who had been the head coach at Austin Peay for the last four seasons, as the new men’s basketball head coach.
Figger will be formally introduced to the media at a press conference in the near future. The date and time have not yet been determined. Fans will not be able to attend in-person but will be able to watch online at
During his four years at Austin Peay, Figger compiled a 76-51 (.598) record, including a 49-25 (.662) mark in OVC play.
“All the candidates we met with spoke highly about our basketball program and the strong foundation built by Coach Lew Hill,” UTRGV President Guy Bailey said. “Coach Figger certainly recognizes that our program is on the rise, and we are confident that he is the right person for the job. He has had tremendous success as a Division I head coach, and we are delighted to have him.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Figger, his wife, Katrina, and their son, Vince, to the Valley. Coach Figger is a proven winner who has strong Texas ties and brings a wealth of Division I experience to our program,” Conque said. “As a sitting Division I head coach from a very respected program at Austin Peay, this is a statement hire for our university, athletics department and men’s basketball program. I am confident Coach Figger will continue to build upon the great work and legacy of Coach Hill and I am excited for the future success of our program as we continue to Rally the Valley around UTRGV Athletics.”
When Figger arrived at Austin Peay in 2017-18, he took a team that had gone 11-19 (7-9 OVC) the previous year and guided them to the Tournament (CIT) Quarterfinals, ending the season with a 19-15 record (12-6 OVC). Figger’s teams went on to go 22-11 (13-5 OVC) in 2018-19 and 21-12 (14-4 OVC) in 2019-20 before finishing this past season 14-13 (10-10 OVC).
Under Figger’s tutelage, the Governors made one of the NCAA’s largest defensive turnarounds in 2017-18, going from allowing 83.8 points per game (ppg) to 71.2 ppg, with the 12.6 drop in points allowed the second-largest in the nation.
In his second season, the Governors reached 20 victories for the first time since 2010-11. Figger also became the first Austin Peay coach with double-digit conference wins in his first two seasons. 
Among the student-athletes to play under Figger was two-time OVC Player of the Year Terry Taylor, who recorded an NCAA-best 20 double-doubles in 27 games this past season while also leading the NCAA in offensive rebounding at 5.15 per game.
Off the court, Figger’s teams displayed impressive academic prowess, recording a team grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in each of his last three semesters. This includes a 3.538 GPA in the fall of 2020 and a 3.542 in the spring of 2020.
Off the court, Figger’s teams were active in the community. In 2019, for example, student-athlete ZachGlotta was one of 46 Division I basketball players nominated to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Give Back Team, recognizing men’s basketball student-athletes for outstanding community service. 
“I cannot express enough how excited my family and I are to become a part of the UTRGV family,” Figger said. “This program has already experienced an incredible leader in Lew Hill. Coach Hill’s vision has already laid a strong foundation. My job is to continue the work and do my due diligence to make this program successful and to take it to levels never before experienced. The work starts now!
“I am extremely grateful to Chasse Conque and President Guy Bailey for giving me this incredible opportunity and believing in my vision to pick up the baton for this program. Now is the time to rally the Valley! The season starts now. V’s Up!”
Figger went to Austin Peay on the heels of a whirlwind Final Four run as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at South Carolina. The Gamecocks were the East Region champion, taking down Marquette, Duke, Baylor and Florida. Figger, who was at South Carolina from 2012-17, assisted in the revival of a program that hadn’t enjoyed a 20-win season since 2008-09, had not advanced to an NCAA Tournament since 2003-04, and had not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1973.
Figger arrived in South Carolina after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Kansas State from 2007-12. There, Figger was part of a staff that secured at least 21 wins and finished fifth or better in the Big 12 each season. In his first season, Kansas State won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1988 while posting a 20-win season – just its fourth since 1990. The 2008-09 squad posted 22 wins and earned an at-large bid to the NIT, which set the stage for a record-setting season in 2009-10, when the team posted a school-record 29 wins en route to the program’s first NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in over two decades. The Wildcats defeated six ranked opponents that season, finishing the year ranked seventh in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA TodayCoaches Top 25 polls.
Figger signed two McDonald’s All-Americans at Kansas State, including 2008 National Freshman and Player of the Year Michael Beasley, a first-round pick in the NBA Draft. Beasley was one of five All-Americans tutored by Figger.
Prior to his time at Kansas State, Figger served a brief stint as the director of operations at Arkansas (April-June 2007), which followed five seasons as an assistant coach at South Alabama (2003-07). South Alabama enjoyed some of its greatest success during Figger’s time on staff, especially the final two seasons when the team reached the NCAA Tournament and NIT, respectively.
Prior to his time at South Alabama, Figger spent 10 years as an assistant coach in the junior college ranks, including stints at Wabash Valley (1993-94), Vincennes (1994-99) and Odessa College (2000-02). His teams won 20 or more games eight times, captured six region and four district titles and advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament four times.
Originally from Jenkins, Ky., Figger earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky in 1995. He played baseball at Pikeville College from 1990-91 before completing his education at Eastern Kentucky.

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