Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee State University men’s basketball head coach John Cooper has announced the hiring of Rick Duckett as an assistant coach.

Duckett joins the staff with more than 30 years of coaching experience and after spending the last two seasons as a basketball color analyst for UNC Greensboro on 101.1 WZTK-FM. He spent a total of nine years as a head coach with three different programs gathering a career record of 156-98.

“We are extremely excited to have him (Duckett) join our staff with his vast array of experience and success during his coaching career,” said TSU Basketball head coach John Cooper.  “He was shaped and molded in one of the great basketball families (North Carolina). We can’t wait to benefit from his experience on the bench. He is a first-class person and fierce competitor with an incredible ability to identify with student-athletes.”

Cooper and Duckett reunite after working together under two programs. During Cooper’s collegiate career as a player at Wichita State, Duckett was an assistant (1987-92) help leading the Shockers to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1988 and 1997 and a N.I.T berth in 1989.

“I’m energized about the opportunity. It gives me clarity and purpose to have a chance to work with young people,” Duckett explained. “During my two years away from coaching, I missed the day-to-day interaction with coaches and players. What is also important is the relationship I have with Cooper and I believe in his vision and admire his coaching philosophy.”

From 1993-98, Duckett was head coach at Fayetteville State (CIAA) with Cooper serving as an assistant from 1993-95.  In his first stint as a head coach, he led the Broncos to a 76-57 record while serving FSU as an assistant athletic director and instructor.

In 1998, Duckett took over the helm at Winston-Salem State (CIAA) until 2001. He posted a remarkable record in his three seasons leading the squad to a combined 73-19 mark while capturing the CIAA championship in 1999 and 2000. Both seasons, he earned the CIAA Tournament Coaches Award and was the 1999 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Coach of the Year.

After WSSU, he served his second term as an assistant with South Carolina (SEC) from 2001-08 under head coach Dave Odom. He rejoined the staff after serving in the same capacity for head coach Bill Foster (Rutgers, Utah, Duke, South Carolina, Northwestern) for the 1985-86 season.

From 2008-09, Duckett grabbed the head coaching reins once again when he spent one season at the helm at Grambling State (SWAC) posting a 6-23 record.

In addition, he has spent years as an assistant, coaching for one season at Central Florida (1983-84) and Jacksonville (1983-84). A year prior to the appointments, he spent the first of two stints at R.J. Reynolds High School (Winston Salem, N.C.) returning as a teacher and coach from 1992-93.

Duckett began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, North Carolina (Chapel Hill), from 1979-1980. He received his full-time start as the head coach of the freshman squad at Harvard University from 1980-1982.


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