Courtesy of MonmouthHawks.com
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Monmouth University Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil announced Friday that MU and Head Men’s Basketball Coach King Rice agreed to a new five-year contract, securing his time on the Hawks’ sidelines through the 2021-22 season.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead the Monmouth program for five more years,” said Rice. “When I got here I knew I was so fortunate and so blessed to be the coach here and after six years, to re-sign for five more means a lot to me and my family. I just feel very fortunate that I get to represent Dr. McNeil and Monmouth University.”
Rice has been named MAAC Coach of the Year twice in a row, just the second coach in the history of the conference to accomplish that feat outright, posting a 55-15 overall record across those seasons. He has coached the Hawks to consecutive national postseason tournaments, hosting NIT games in West Long Branch two straight years, and last season led MU to 18 MAAC wins for the first time in the history of the conference.
“Monmouth is grateful for King Rice’s continued commitment to the Hawks,” said McNeil. “His leadership in moving the program to the upper echelon of MAAC basketball is rewarded by this extension and we look forward to much future success.”
Monmouth has topped six high-major programs under Rice’s tutelage, winning the MAAC regular season crown each of the last two years. He is a two-time NABC All-District I Coach of the Year, and earned John McLendon National Coach of the Year honors after the 2015-16 campaign as the nation’s top mid-major coach. Rice has posted a 106-92 record with the Blue and White to date. Earlier this summer, Rice spent time as a court coach with the USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team.
Off the floor, MU has been lauded for its academic success, picking up the NCAA’s APR Public Recognition Award this past season after graduating another class of seniors. Rice and his staff have graduated 21 of 21 seniors since taking over in 2011.
“Dr. McNeil gave us the opportunity to get this started six years ago and we’re excited to keep working to get to where we want to be,” said Rice.
This marks Rice’s third contract signed while at Monmouth, the first coming on November 13, 2014 before re-signing on February 26, 2016. Rice was introduced as the sixth men’s basketball coach in school history on March 30, 2011.
MU released its 2017-18 non-conference schedule and will open Rice’s seventh season on November 10 at the OceanFirst Bank Center against Bucknell.