Rice inks 5-yr extension at Monmouth

Photo Courtesy Monmouth Basketball

Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy and Director of Athletics Jeff Stapleton announced Monday that MU and Head Men’s Basketball Coach King Rice have reached an agreement on a five-year contract extension. The deal secures Rice’s spot on the Hawks bench through the 2025-26 season.
“In the current climate of Division I athletics Monmouth University is fortunate to have a successful coach who also puts a premium on academics and graduating his players.” said Leahy. “I am pleased to announce that King Rice, along with his wife Summer and sons Xander and Julian, will continue to be an integral part of the University community for at least another five years. Throughout his time at Monmouth, King has continued to build the program in an upward trajectory while maintaining a positive culture that produces men who are prepared to continue their careers whether it be in the realm of professional basketball or in the workforce.”
Rice comes off his third MAAC Coach of the Year honors in 2020-21, just the third coach in the conference’s history to accomplish the feat three times. Rice led the Blue and White to a regular season title, his third as the head coach, this past year and has 161 wins to his credit in 10 seasons. Rice has coached Monmouth record breakers in career scoring (Justin Robinson), three-pointers (Deion Hammond) and games played (Diago Quinn).
“Last year King Rice and his staff were able to navigate an extremely difficult season, one which culminated in him earning MAAC Coach of the Year honors for the third time in the last six years,” said Stapleton. “For the last decade he has led our men’s basketball program to a number of impressive campaigns, including three regular season titles, all the while ensuring his student-athletes graduate. The program continues to move in a positive direction and we are looking forward to more success in the coming years.”
In his tenure at Monmouth, Rice has coached 16 All-MAAC selections, including six First Team choices as well as five major award winners. The 2015-16 John McLendon Coach of the Year award recipient, Rice has had an All-MAAC choice in each of the last seven seasons. He coached the 2015-16 team to a program record 28 wins and set the program’s winning streak mark in 2026-17, capturing 18 straight contests. The Hawks have earned a first-round bye in the MAAC Tournament five times under Rice.
“I’m so proud to represent Monmouth University and all the great alums and students,” said Rice. “This has been the best 10 years on our journey as a family and we’re super excited for the future.”
Rice has been instrumental in Monmouth Basketball’s success off the court as well, with 30 seniors earning their college degree in his tenure. The Hawks have earned back-to-back NABC Team Academic Excellence awards for posting a team GPA over 3.0, the first time in school history MU has won the award in consecutive years. Seven Hawks have been named to the NABC Honors Court for their work in the classroom under Rice, with MU players earning the honor five years in a row.
Rice is set to enter his 11th season this November, and will return 10 players from last year’s MAAC regular season championship team. The Hawks open the 2021-22 season at Charlotte on November 9.


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