Not very long soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down NCAA athletics in March, Rick Ray identified himself in a predicament not contrary to significantly also quite a few of his fellow Us citizens. Caught at property. All of a sudden unemployed. And all set to whittle the times by indulging in some very long overdue relatives time.
Of program, as a extensively-highly regarded veteran basketball mentor, Ray’s predicament was not almost as tenuous as so quite a few some others. Nevertheless soon after an 8-12 months operate as a Division I head mentor that was a wrestle in conditions of the standings, Ray was articles plenty of having a breather at property whilst hitting the re-established button.
And so, for the initially time in a occupation spanning additional than two a long time, Ray did not commit the spring examining recreation movie and figuring out possible recruits. Alternatively, Ray assisted his previous assistants at Southeast Missouri Point out land new work and gladly took more than the training-from-property obligations for his youngsters.
Then, in May possibly, Anthony Coleman determined to go away the Colorado men’s basketball system soon after just 1 period on head mentor Tad Boyle’s staff members. Boyle proceeded to phone Ray, whom he experienced gotten to know in the early 2000s when equally adult men ended up assistants in the Missouri Valley Meeting. All of a sudden Ray’s small corner of the nation’s quarantine was not so tranquil any more.
“I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to do,” mentioned Ray, who was declared as CU’s latest assistant on Friday. “I was in a fantastic position. It was regrettable that a pandemic and not acquiring a career pressured the challenge. But I experienced a probability to commit additional time with my relatives, specifically my two younger boys, that I have under no circumstances experienced a probability to do. I was a property college instructor and executing all all those factors on the internet with my boys. I invested a ton of time with them and was just variety of in that manner there.
“When Tad reached out to me I was immediately interested because I’ve got a great deal of respect for Tad. I think Colorado is a great job in itself, but it’s really important to me that I’m working for the right people. And Tad just reminds me of guys I’ve worked for, like Matt Painter and Brad Brownell, that are just basketball guys that do it the right way.”
Ray is the 3rd mentor to keep that place on Boyle’s staff members in about 14 months, as Kim English remaining for Tennessee in April 2019, only to be changed by Coleman. Contrary to his two predecessors, who ended up young and relative newcomers to the coaching ranks, Ray delivers a prolonged resume to his new career in Boulder.
Right after 15 seasons as an assistant, most notably at Clemson and Purdue, Ray invested the earlier 8 many years as a head mentor. His groups struggled to get off, as he is coming off a 51-104 operate in 5 seasons at Southeast Missouri Point out. Formerly, he went 37-60 in a few seasons at Mississippi Point out, and in 8 seasons as a head mentor, Ray’s golf equipment posted just 1 profitable period inside the meeting (SEMO went nine-seven in the Ohio Valley Meeting in 2016-17).
As Ray returns to an assistant role, even so, he thinks the expertise has broadened his point of view as a mentor, irrespective of the earn full. His addition arguably provides the Buffs their most expert coaching staff members for the duration of Boyle’s tenure, as his 11th period at CU will be his initially with two previous Division I head coaches on his bench. Monthly bill Grier, heading into his fifth period with the Buffs, was the head mentor at San Diego for 8 seasons and led the Toreros to the 2008 NCAA Event.
“I think I have a much better perspective on what you need from an assistant coach in order to help a head coach,” Ray mentioned. “I think it’s really important that we as assistants to just try to keep a lot off coach’s plate, so he can concentrate on the things that are really important. Which is coaching the basketball team and building relationships with players.”