Rick Stansbury
Rick Stansbury.jpg
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamWestern Kentucky
ConferenceConference USA
Record122–73 (.626)
Biographical details
Born (1959-12-23) December 23, 1959 (age 62)
Battletown, Kentucky
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1981–1982Campbellsville (assistant)
1983–1984Cumberland (KY) (assistant)
1984–1990Austin Peay (assistant)
1990–1998Mississippi State (assistant)
1998–2012Mississippi State
2014–2016Texas A&M (assistant)
2016–presentWestern Kentucky
Head coaching record
Overall415–239 (.635)
Tournaments4–6 (NCAA Division I)
10–7 (NIT)
Accomplishments and honors
2 SEC Tournament (2002, 2009)
SEC regular season (2004)
5 SEC West division (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010)
C-USA regular season (2021)
C-USA East division (2021)
SEC Coach of the Year (2004)

Richard Lee Stansbury (born December 23, 1959), is an American college basketball and the current head coach of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers basketball team. He was previously the head coach at Mississippi State. He was hired as the WKU head coach on March 28, 2016.[2][3] He is a member of the Campbellsville University Athletics Hall of Fame.[4]

Early life

Born in Battletown, Kentucky, Stansbury played high school basketball for Meade County High School in Brandenburg, Kentucky from which he graduated in 1977. From 1977 to 1981, he played college basketball at Campbellsville College (now Campbellsville University) in Campbellsville, Kentucky. He led the team to the NAIA Tournament in his senior season.

Coaching career

Early coaching career

Stansbury began his coaching career at his alma mater as a student assistant (1982–83). Following his stint at Campbellsville, he served as a graduate assistant at Cumberland College (now University of the Cumberlands) in Williamsburg, Kentucky (1983–84). There, he helped to lead the team to a 31–5 mark and a second round appearance in the NAIA Tournament.

In 1984, Stansbury moved to Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he served a six-year term as an assistant, helping guide that team to three consecutive winning seasons, beginning with a conference tournament championship and a subsequent NCAA Tournament Second Round berth during the 1986–87 season, while the Governors posted a mark of 20–12.[5]

Mississippi State

After leaving Austin Peay, Stansbury served as an assistant coach at Mississippi State under Richard Williams from 1990 to 1994. He became Williams' associate head coach and top recruiter in 1994 and remained in that position until 1998. During those eight seasons, the Bulldogs won the Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season championship (1991), twice won the SEC West crown (1995 and 1996), won the SEC Tournament championship (1996); advanced to the Sweet 16 in back to back years (1995 and 1996) and reached the Final Four in 1996.[6]

Taking over the helm as the Bulldogs head coach in 1998, Stansbury led his team to postseason tournament play 11 times in 14 seasons (six NCAA and five NIT tournaments), with five consecutive post-season tournament appearances, the first MSU basketball coach in history to accomplish this feat. His 2001–02 MSU team compiled the most wins in a single season in school history (27). Also achieved the highest national ranking in school history in 2003–04, No. 2 in the country (finished 26–4). Stansbury also owns MSU's record for consecutive 20-win seasons with four from 2001 to 2005 and again from 2006 to 2010.[6]

From his days as an MSU assistant until 2012, Stansbury was part of over 15 postseason tournament appearances. Prior to his arrival at Mississippi State, MSU had two post-seasons in 27 years (both NIT). He was also 21–8 vs conference in-state rival, the Ole Miss Rebels.

During the 2007–08 season, Stansbury passed Williams as the all-time most successful basketball coach at Mississippi State, with 192 wins, but was never able to match Williams's run in the NCAA tourney as he failed to get past the 2nd Round.[6][5] Stansbury retired with 293 wins, ranking 9th in the history of the SEC. Stansbury announced his retirement on March 15, 2012; he cited a desire to spend more time with his family.[7]

Texas A&M

In May 2014, he was back into coaching as an assistant at Texas A&M under Billy Kennedy.[8] Stansbury helped the Aggie coaching staff sign a consensus top-10 recruiting class which was regarded as one of the most heralded groups in school history. On April 10, 2015 Stansbury was promoted to Associate Head Coach.[9]

Western Kentucky

On March 28, 2016, Stansbury was hired as head coach at Western Kentucky University, replacing Ray Harper who resigned March 17, 2016.[10][11][12]

Notable players under Stansbury

Seven of Coach Stansbury's former players moved on to professional careers in the National Basketball Association.

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Mississippi State Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (1998–2012)
1998–99 Mississippi State 20–13 8–8 T–3rd (West) NIT First Round
1999–00 Mississippi State 14–16 5–11 T–5th (West)
2000–01 Mississippi State 18–13 7–9 T–4th (West) NIT Quarterfinal
2001–02 Mississippi State 27–8 10–6 2nd (West) NCAA Division I Round of 32
2002–03 Mississippi State 21–10 9–7 1st (West) NCAA Division I Round of 64
2003–04 Mississippi State 26–4 14–2 1st (West) NCAA Division I Round of 32
2004–05 Mississippi State 23–11 9–7 3rd (West) NCAA Division I Round of 32
2005–06 Mississippi State 15–15 5–11 5th(West)
2006–07 Mississippi State 21–14 8–8 T–1st (West) NIT Semifinal
2007–08 Mississippi State 23–11 12–4 1st (West) NCAA Division I Round of 32
2008–09 Mississippi State 23–13 9–7 3rd (West) NCAA Division I Round of 64
2009–10 Mississippi State 24–12 9–7 T–1st (West) NIT Second Round
2010–11 Mississippi State 17–14 9–7 2nd (West)
2011–12 Mississippi State 21–12 8–8 T–6th NIT First Round
Mississippi State: 293–166 (.638) 122–102 (.545)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Conference USA) (2016–present)
2016–17 Western Kentucky 15–17 9–9 T–7th
2017–18 Western Kentucky 27–11 14–4 3rd NIT Semifinal
2018–19 Western Kentucky 20–14 11–7 T–2nd
2019–20 Western Kentucky 20–10 13–5 T–2nd Postseason not held
2020–21 Western Kentucky 21–8 11–3 1st (East) NIT Quarterfinal
2021–22 Western Kentucky 19–13 11–7 T–2nd (East)
Western Kentucky: 122–73 (.626) 69–35 (.663)
Total: 415–239 (.635)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "Texas A&M Athletics - Rick Stansbury". Archived from the original on 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  2. ^ "It's official: WKU hires Stansbury as coach". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  3. ^ "Former Miss. State coach Rick Stansbury to coach Western Kentucky". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  4. ^ "Tiger Tracks", The Campbellsvillian, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Summer 2014), p. 25
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2006-12-24.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b c http://www.mstateathletics.com/doc_lib/mbk_0607mg_history.pdf[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Miss. St.'s Stansbury retiring after 14 seasons". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  8. ^ "Stansbury joins Texas A&M's coaching staff". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  9. ^ 12thman.com
  10. ^ "Western Kentucky University Athletics". www.wkusports.com. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  11. ^ "It's official: WKU hires Stansbury as coach". The Clarion Ledger. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  12. ^ "It's official: WKU hires Stansbury as coach". USA TODAY Sports. 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2017-08-29.