Leon Rice, who has helped Gonzaga become a household name in college basketball, and was widely regarded as the 'Coach in waiting' at the Spokane WA basketball powerhouse, has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Boise State according to multiple sources. Rice helped the 'Zags earn 11 straight NCAA tournament berths in their current streak of 12 trips in a row to the 'Big Dance.'
Leon Rice, associate head coach at Gonzaga and an
assistant at the Northwest power for the past 11 seasons, is the new Head Coach
according to multiple sources, BroncoCountry has
The Bulldogs were 264-66 during Rice's tenure,
including a school-best 29-4 in 2002 and again in 2006.
Gonzaga lost to
in the second round of this year's NCAA Tournament.
The ‘Zags reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2000, 2001, 2006 and again last
year. They earned tournament berths
in 2002, 2007 and 2008, and reached the second round in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Their 2003 loss came in double overtime (96-95) to the #1 team in the
finished #3 in 2004 and followed that up with a #10 ranking the following
season, #5 in 2006 and another #10 ranking last season.
Rice has served under highly-respected Mark Few at
Gonzaga. Rice was the first person
Few called to be his assistant after getting the head coaching position. Rice
was named associate head coach in 2007.
has been a fantastic addition to our staff," Few
said. "To be able to get someone
with as much experience as
has recruiting on the road and knowing the ins and
outs of the Northwest was a big advantage for us," he continued.
"Plus, he was a great fit for our staff and our team.
We didn't miss a beat with him joining our program.
He has a high level of enthusiasm and is very positive.
He has helped this program grow and prosper."
Prior to joining the Bulldogs, Rice coached at
, serving as assistant for two years and two years as
head coach. The year he served as
went from worst to first and in 1999, and they
compiled a 31-2 record. Rice was
honored as the Eastern Region Coach of the Year two years in a row.
According to one source, Coach Rice is "a Coach
Pete kind of guy—blue collar, smart, fired up, has charisma and is all about
and its future."
Welcome Coach Rice to