Nicholls State names Riley new men’s basketball coach _lowres

Photo by MISTY MCELROY/Nicholls State University Richie Riley, 33. was introduced as Nicholls State men's basketball coach on Tuesday in Thibodaux.

THIBODAUX — Richie Riley, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Clemson, was named head men’s basketball coach at Nicholls State, Athletic Director Rob Bernardi announced Tuesday morning.

“Richie Riley is a tremendous talent and he demonstrated that throughout the search and interview process,” Bernardi said. “He fits the needs of our program exceptionally well. I firmly believe that Richie Riley is the right choice to lead our basketball program.”

The 33-year-old is the 11th head coach in Colonels men’s basketball history.

“Richie had a great impact on our program at Clemson,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “He was creative and worked hard every day to put our program in a position to be successful. His growth as a man and as a coach has been a joy to watch. Richie is going to be a fantastic coach in the future.”

“Richie’s basketball IQ is just terrific,” added Texas coach Shaka Smart. “He understands the game and is not afraid to be innovative, but he also knows how important it is to be fundamentally sound. He has also built a national reputation of being an outstanding recruiter.”

Before coaching with the Tigers, Riley was an assistant for Jerod Haase at UAB for two seasons.

He also served at his alma mater, Eastern Kentucky, under Jeff Neubaurer as an assistant aduring the 2011-12 season and for two seasons at Coastal Carolina.

A native of London, Kentucky, Riley played during the 2001-02 season at Eastern Kentucky under Travis Ford.

Riley replaces J.P. Piper, who posted a 132-224 record over 12 seasons at Nicholls. The Colonels were 11-23 overall and 6-12 in Southland Conference play last season.

Riley and his wife Jess have a son, Reese.