Rick Stansbury, the 2004 Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year, all-time coaching wins leader at Mississippi State and ninth-winningest coach in the history of the SEC, enters his second year on the Texas A&M basketball staff.
“Rick has made a huge impact on our program in a very short time,” head coach Billy Kennedy said. “His experience in coaching, recruiting and all areas has been a huge benefit. There were several opportunities that presented themselves to Rick recently, and I’m very pleased he’s made the commitment to our program to stay with us.”
No stranger to winning in the SEC, Stansbury, 54, spent 22 seasons at Mississippi State, the last 14 as head coach (1999-2012) compiling a 293-166 (.638) record while guiding the Bulldogs to the postseason 11 times, including six NCAA appearances. His 293 wins are the most all-time among MSU floor generals while also ranking ninth in SEC men’s basketball history.
“I’m excited to be a part of Coach Kennedy’s staff,” Stansbury said. “I’ve known Billy for a long time, he’s a terrific coach and even better person. I look forward to helping him and his staff in any way I can.”
During the final 12 seasons of Stansbury's tenure in Starkville, Mississippi State won more games than any other SEC program except Kentucky and Florida. Additionally, the Bulldogs averaged 21 wins per season, won 20 or more games in 10 seasons and claimed the 2004 SEC regular season championship and five SEC West Division titles, with Stansbury earning 2004 SEC Coach of the Year honors from the Associated Press.
Recognized as an outstanding recruiter, Stansbury and staff brought five different top-20 recruiting classes to Starkville during a nine-year period from 2003-11. MSU’s 2005 class was regarded by rivals.com as the sixth-best class nationally while scout.com ranked the group seventh. Additionally, his final signing class with the Bulldogs came in the spring of 2011 and was ranked 12th in the country by rivals.com.
“My wife and I discussed this opportunity at great lengths and wanted to make sure we were making the best decision for our family and our three boys,” Stansbury added. “We feel like we’ve found the perfect fit here in College Station.”
Postseason success was also commonplace under Stansbury’s guidance as the Bulldogs reached the finals of the SEC Tournament four times while claiming the league’s tournament title in 2002 and 2009. Under his watch, MSU claimed five NCAA Tournament victories and reached the NIT semifinals in 2007.
Mississippi State made five-consecutive postseason tournament appearances (2001-05) for the first time in school history, including a streak of four-straight NCAA Tournament berths from 2002-05. Prior to Stansbury taking over head coaching duties in 1998, the Bulldogs had totaled seven postseason tournament berths and eclipsed the 20-win mark just seven times in the school's 86 previous years of basketball competition.
Stansbury’s 2001-02 Bulldog team established a new single-season standard with 27 victories, while claiming the school's second SEC Tournament title.
Seven Bulldogs earned All-America honors during Stansbury’s 14-year stint as head coach with 23 All-SEC selections, including 11 first-team honorees. His teams also enjoyed success in the classroom as 42 student-athletes earned SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades.
Prior to taking the head coaching position in Starkville, Stansbury spent eight seasons an assistant under former Bulldog floor general Richard Williams. Highlighting his days as an MSU assistant, the Bulldogs exploded onto the national college basketball scene by advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1995 and then making the school’s first appearance in the NCAA Final Four a year later in 1996.
Prior to joining the Mississippi State staff, Stansbury spent six seasons as an assistant at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Working alongside his good friend, former APSU head coach Lake Kelly, Stansbury was directly involved with a full scope of coaching responsibilities, including serving as recruiting coordinator.
During his time at APSU, the Governors recorded three consecutive winning campaigns, beginning with an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship and a subsequent NCAA Tournament second-round berth during the 1986-87 season. In Stansbury's six-year association with Austin Peay's roundball program, the Govs landed a total of seven players, including two tourney MVPs, on the OVC All-Tournament team over a four-year span.
A native of Battletown, Kentucky, Stansbury's 16-year career as an assistant basketball coach began at his alma mater during the 1981-82 campaign as he progress toward earning a double major in business and physical education from Campbellsville (Kentucky) College (now Campbellsville University).
Stansbury then served as a graduate assistant on coach Randy Vernon's staff at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky. While earning his master's degree in business education, Stansbury helped direct the 1983-84 Indian club to a 31-5 mark and second-round appearance in the NAIA Tournament.
In 2003, Stansbury was honored by his alma mater as an inductee into the Campbellsville University Athletic Hall of Fame, along with former Tiger head football coach Sam Wickliffe. In October 1999, Stansbury was honored by the Campbellsville Alumni Association as a proud recipient of the school's Distinguished Alumni Award.
Stansbury is married to the former Meo Mellen of Roanoke, Va. They are the proud parents of three sons -- Isaac (14), Noah (12), and Luke (9).