Rick Duckett, formerly of the University of South Carolina and a previous NCAA Division II South Atlantic Coach of the Year, is the new head men’s basketball coach at Grambling State University, Director of Athletics Troy Mathieu announced on today.
The hiring is pending approval of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
“Coach Duckett is a proven tactician who has worked with some of the best coaches in the business,” Mathieu said. “He has a unique ability to motivate and connect with student-athletes and will bring tremendous enthusiasm to our men’s basketball program. Under his leadership, Grambling fans can look forward to seeing an aggressive defensive team that plays an up-tempo style of offense that will be fun to watch. We are fortunate to have him join the staff at Grambling State.”
A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Duckett brings a wealth of experience to Grambling State after serving as an assistant in one of the toughest basketball conferences in the nation in addition to serving as a successful head coach at one of the highest profile leagues on the NCAA Division II level.
In eight years as a collegiate head coach, Duckett compiled an impressive 150-75 mark at Fayetteville and Winston-Salem State Universities. While at Winston-Salem from 1998 to 2001, Duckett posted a 74-18 ledger that included three NCAA Division II Tournament Appearances, three
20-win seasons, two CIAA Tournament Championships and two CIAA Tournament Coaches Awards. With the opportunity to acquire valuable knowledge about the game of basketball from legendary Basketball of Hall Famer and former Winston-Salem head coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines”, Duckett
finished his tenure at WSSU with the top winning percentage (80%) in school history.
Duckett began his coaching career working as an undergraduate assistant at North Carolina where he was on the staff of Basketball Hall of Famer Dean Smith and also worked with current UNC head coach Roy Williams as the duo coached the school’s junior varsity team during the 1979-80
Upon his graduation from UNC, Duckett spent two years as an assistant at Harvard (1980-82) and moved to the high school ranks for one season as an assistant at R.J. Reynolds High School in his hometown of Winston-Salem. He returned to the collegiate ranks in 1983 and spent one season each at Jacksonville University, South Carolina and Central Florida before settling down at Wichita State University in 1986.
While at Wichita State, Duckett played an integral role in the Shockers’ success on the court as he helped lead the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances and a berth in the NIT during a six-year run from 1986 to 1992. He returned to R.J. Reynolds as an assistant coach after his stint at Wichita for one season before accepting the job as head coach at Fayetteville State in 1993.
After a five-year stint at Fayetteville State, Duckett made his mark at Winston-Salem State for three years before returning to the SEC as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina in 2001. As an assistant at South Carolina for six years where he was known as the team’s “defensive coordinator”, Duckett helped guide the Gamecocks to back-to-back NIT Championships (2005, 2006) and one NCAA Tournament appearance (2004). In addition to his coaching duties, Duckett was also
responsible for recruiting, player development, scouting and team academics. During the summer, Duckett also served as the Director of South Carolina’s Offensive Skills Camp.
Duckett holds both a Bachelor’s (1979) and Master’s (’80) degrees from North Carolina in the field of Education. He’s married to the former Letitia Miller and they have two children, Philip and Keigan.