Stokes knows USC Head Coach Dave Odom and his system well, as he coached with Odom at Virginia (1984-85) and joined Odom's first staff at Wake Forest (1989-1997).
"We are very excited to have Ricky and his family join the Gamecock basketball family. In looking at the needs of our program, from a staff standpoint, we felt we needed a staff member whose primary strength would be in the area of recruiting, a person who has experienced considerable success in that area," said Odom. "We had many outstanding applicants, several of which were interviewed, but in the end, clearly Ricky Stokes was the best choice. Ricky Stokes has recruited at the highest level both as a head coach and as an assistant and has had tremendous success in the past in the southeast, which we will continue as our base. As always I will continue to encourage all my staff members to take part in each aspect of our program: recruiting, on the floor coaching, game preparation and academic development."
"I am very excited to join the staff at South Carolina," said Stokes. "First, let me wish Ernie Nestor, an excellent coach and good friend the best of luck at Elon College. I know he will do a good job. There are very few places I would consider being an assistant. Coach Odom and I go back 20 years; he gave me my first big time coaching opportunity and for that, I am always grateful. I have very special feelings for him both as a coach and as a person. Some of my most rewarding experiences in athletics were under Dave Odom. With Coach Odom comes a wonderful staff with Rick Duckett, Barry Sanderson, Bill Old, Greg Lyons - they have done an excellent job and I look forward joining this program."
Prior to joining the Gamecocks, Stokes served four seasons as the head coach at Virginia Tech. He complied a 45-70 record while with the Hokies, guiding the Hokies from play in the Atlantic 10 (one season) to playing in the Big East the past three years.
While an assistant coach, Stokes was involved in eight NCAA Tournaments (once reaching the Elite Eight and twice the Sweet 16). He also was a part of four NCAA Tournament teams at the University of Virginia, where he played guard from 1980-84.
During his 11 seasons as a full-time assistant coach, Stokes recruited and/or coached such talent as 1997 college Player of the Year and No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Tim Duncan, and NBA first-round picks Randolph Childress and Rodney Rogers of Wake Forest. In addition, Stokes also recruited McDonald's All-American center Loren Woods and 1997-98 ACC Freshman of the Year Robert O'Kelley to Wake Forest. At Virginia, he also recruited ACC Freshman of the Year, Chris Williams (1997-98).
Stokes began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Virginia during the 1984-85 season. After one year, he entered the business world for two years. He stayed involved in coaching as an assistant at his high school alma mater, while earning his master's degree in counselor education from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1988. Stokes then joined the staff of former Virginia assistant Jim Larranaga at Bowling Green for the 1988-89 season.
He joined first-year coach Dave Odom's staff at Wake Forest before the 1989-90 season, and played a major role in the development of All-American guard Randolph Childress as well as fellow guards Marc Blucas, Derrick McQueen, Anthony Tucker, Rusty LaRue, Tony Rutland and Jerry Braswell. In Stokes' eight years at Wake Forest, the Deacons advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven times including an Elite Eight appearance in 1995-96 and Sweet 16 nods in 1994-95 and 1992-93. After working at his alma mater under his former college teammate Jeff Jones during the 1997-98 season, Stokes joined Rick Barnes' staff at Clemson two weeks before Barnes accepted the head coaching job at the University of Texas. Stokes followed Barnes to Texas, where he spent the 1998-99 season as Associate Head Coach. That year, he helped guide the Longhorns to a 19-13 overall record and an NCAA first-round appearance. Texas went 13-3 in the Big 12 Conference, winning the league title for the first time in school history. Stokes also signed three of the top 10 players in the state of Texas during the fall signing period.
Following a standout prep career at Highland Springs High School in his hometown of Richmond, Va., Stokes enrolled at the University of Virginia. He played point guard for UVa's Final Four team as a freshman in 1979-80. The Cavaliers advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of Stokes' four seasons. In fact, UVa was a No. 1 tournament seed in each of the last three years of the Ralph Sampson Era, from 1980-81 through 1982-83. As a senior in 1983-84, Stokes helped a Sampson-less squad to the Final Four in Seattle after finishing fifth in the ACC regular season.
Stokes served as co-captain of the 1983-84 team and earned the Virginia Basketball Leadership Award. Nationally, he was honored with the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is presented annually to the country's finest player under six-feet-tall.
While at Virginia, Stokes played in a school-record 134 consecutive games. Cavalier teams went 109-25 during his tenure, while posting a 43-13 league mark en route to three consecutive ACC championships (1980-81 through 1982-83). Stokes was also recognized for his outstanding contributions to the university off the court. He was given the honor of residing on The Lawn, and was selected to the prestigious IMP society. Stokes graduated from Virginia in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Stokes and his wife, Karen, have one daughter, Sydney (6).
Personal Full name Roderick Leonard Stokes Date of birth March 29, 1962 Hometown Richmond, Va. High School Highland Springs HS (Richmond, Va.) College Virginia, 1984 (four-year letterwinner at Virginia) Graduate degree Virginia Commonwealth, 1988 Wife Karen Children Sydney (born Aug. 24, 1996)
NCAA Tournament Experience 1980-81 Player
Virginia Final Four 1981-82 Player
Virginia Sweet 16 1982-83 Player
Virginia Elite Eight 1983-84 Player
Virginia Final Four 1990-91 Assistant Coach
Wake Forest Second Round 1991-92 Assistant Coach
Wake Forest First Round 1992-93 Assistant Coach
Wake Forest Sweet 16 1993-94 Assistant Coach
Wake Forest Second Round 1994-95 Assistant Coach
Wake Forest Sweet 16 1995-96 Assistant Coach
Wake Forest Elite Eight 1996-97 Assistant Coach
Wake Forest Second Round 1998-99 Assistant Coach Texas First Round
College Coaching Experience 1984-85 Graduate Assistant Virginia 1988-89 Assistant Coach Bowling Green 1989-97 Assistant Coach Wake Forest 1997-98 Assistant Coach Virginia 1998-99 Associate Head Coach Texas 1999-2003 Head Coach Virginia Tech 2003-present Assistant Coach South Carolina
Ricky Stokes USC Basketball's Newest Asst.
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