Mike Rice, a Western Pennsylvania native, begins his first season at the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant basketball coach on Head Coach Jamie Dixon's staff. Rice's main responsibilities include recruiting student-athletes, game preparation and on-floor coaching.
A Pittsburgh native, Rice arrives at Pitt with 12 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, the last two as an assistant at Saint Joseph's under head coach Phil Martelli. Rice, who has extensive East Coast recruiting ties, was raised in a basketball family as his father, Mike Rice, Sr., served as head coach at both Duquesne (1979-82) and Youngstown State (1982-87). The elder Rice currently serves as the Portland Trailblazers' television color commentator.
"We are extremely excited about Mike becoming a member of the university community and I know he is thrilled to be coming home to Pittsburgh," Dixon said. "For the past two seasons, Mike has worked for one of the best coaches in the country in Phil Martelli. He also has the experience of coaching in several different environments and is familiar with the Big East region."
Rice's widespread collegiate coaching experience includes stints at Fordham (1991-94), Marquette (1994-97), Niagara (1997-98), Chicago State (1998-2001) and Saint Joseph's (2004-06). In two years at Saint Joseph's, Rice helped guide the Hawks to a 43-26 record (.623 winning percentage) and a pair of NIT bids. The 2004-05 squad finished 24-12 and advanced to the 2004-05 NIT final. His primary responsibility included working with the Hawks' post players. As an assistant coach at Marquette, Rice helped lead the Golden Eagles to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in both 1996 and 1997. In addition, Marquette claimed the 1997 Conference USA Tournament championship and finished as the NIT runner-up in 1995. His one season at Niagara saw his squad place third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Prior to joining the Saint Joseph's staff in 2004, Rice spent three years as director of the Hoop Group Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp. As the director, he oversaw all camp activities while recruiting student-athletes for participation in the camps and also developed the prestigious Eastern Invitational Team Camp, which grew from 12 to 64 teams over a three-year period.
A three-year starter at Fordham from 1988-91, Rice led the Rams to three 20-win seasons while seeing action in 117 career games. As a senior in 1990-91, Rice served as team captain for a squad that finished 25-8 overall, 11-1 in the Patriot League and earned a postseason appearance in the NIT. His 152 assists in 1990-91 still ranks as the third highest total in Fordham's all-time season records. Rice earned a bachelor's degree in communication from Fordham in 1991 and began his coaching career there as an assistant. In 1992, the Rams captured the Patriot League tournament title and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Rice attended Boardman High School in Youngstown, Ohio where he earned three letters in basketball. A three-year starter at guard, Rice was a two-time All-Northeast Ohio honoree and two-time Steel Valley All-Conference pick. Rice will relocate back to Pittsburgh with his wife, Kerry and their children, Michael (8) and Katie (6). He hails from an athletic family which includes his father, Mike Rice, Sr., who served as a coach at both the collegiate and high school levels, his mother Kathy, who played basketball at Duquesne, and his sisters Susan and Stephanie both played collegiate tennis at Syracuse.
THE RICE FILE
Birthdate: February 13, 1969
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Education: Bachelor of Arts- Communications, Fordham University, 1991; Boardman High School (Youngstown, Ohio), 1986.
Family: Wife Kerry, son Michael (8), daughter Katie (6); son of Mike, Sr. and Kathy Rice; father coached at Duquesne (1979-82) and Youngstown State (1982-87) and currently serves as Portland Trailblazers' radio color commentator; sisters Susan and Stephanie both played tennis at Syracuse.
Assistant Coach, University of Pittsburgh, 2006-current; Assistant Coach, Saint Joseph's University, 2004-06; Director, Hoop Group Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp; Assistant Coach, Chicago State University, 1998-2001; Assistant Coach, Niagara University, 1997-98; Assistant Coach, Marquette University, 1994-97; Assistant Coach, Fordham University, 1991-94.
Fordham University, 1988-91
Led the Rams to three 20-win seasons and an NIT appearance in 1991; three year starter and four-year letterwinner; led Fordham to 25-8 overall record and 11-1 Patriot League season in 1990-91.