King Rice to Monmouth; Pastner Extended

As reported here yesterday and earlier today on Twitter, King Rice is the new head coach at Monmouth.

The former Vanderbilt assistant and North Carolina point guard will be introduced at a Wednesday press conference.

A native of Binghamton, N.Y., Rice spent the last five seasons under Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt, where the Commodores made the NCAA Tournament four times.

Rice, 42, also served as an assistant at Illinois State, Oregon and Providence, where he worked under current SNY analyst Tim Welsh.

As a point guard at North Carolina from 1988-91, Rice played for legendary coach Dean Smith, helping the Tar Heels to a 29-6 overall mark and appearance at the 1991 NCAA Final Four. He finished his career ranked third on the Tar Heels’ all-time assist list with 629, and that mark ranks 11th all-time in Atlantic Coast Conference annals. Rice was a team captain in 1990-91 alongside Pete Chilcut and Rick Fox.

PASTNER EXTENDED

Memphis coach Josh Pastner signed a five-year extension taking him through 2015-16 that pays him a guaranteed annual salary of $1.7 million.

“We are delighted that Coach Pastner has accepted our contract offer and will remain as our basketball coach for years to come,” said Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson. “He is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting young coaches in the country, and we anticipate continued growth for our basketball program.

“Josh has proven himself to be an outstanding coach and recruiter,” Johnson stated. “He has also demonstrated that his values and principles, pertaining to life off the basketball court, mirror those we expect of our student-athletes. Coach Pastner’s leadership qualities are exemplary, and we are pleased that he has chosen to remain with the Tiger program.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t extend a thank you to the private sector for helping facilitate the funding to keep our staff in place,” Johnson concluded.

Pastner, who became Memphis’ 17th head coach on Apr. 7, 2009, guided his squad to a 24-10 record and a spot in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), during his first season as a collegiate head coach in 2009-10.

This past season, the Tigers went 25-10 record, won the Conference USA Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Pastner’s 49 victories the past two years are the most in that span of time by a Tiger basketball coach in school history.

“I have stated numerous times that the Memphis basketball job is one of the top five jobs in the country,” Pastner said. “I am most appreciative of the opportunity and understand the responsibility I was presented by R.C. Johnson to coach this team.

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