Well, after rumors of Danny Manning coming to coach for Colorado Basketball, any name mentioned after that comes with some pause. Manning coming as an assistant coach is as slam dunk as you can get, so not having such an obvious win comes with trepidation. That’s why Rick Ray is an unenviable situation. He has to prove himself. Luckily for him, he will be given every opportunity and he just got himself the best boss in America in Tad Boyle.
Rick Ray has an interesting mix of experiences. He most recently was fired at Southeast Missouri State after five years as the head man there. His first year, they were 5-24, and his last year they were 7-24, peaking at 15 wins and second in the conference his second year there. From all accounts, that is a hard place to win. Before that, he spent 3 years at Mississippi State before being fired, never finishing above 12th in the conference.
None of his previous head coaching trials truly matter that much to his quality as an assistant coach. They are very different jobs, and MSU and SeMo are both pretty hard places to win. It’s important to see how he got those jobs in the first place. He spent most of his assistant coaching career in the Midwest, bouncing around Illinois State and Northern Illinois before landing at Purdue. While at Purdue, he was part of some of the best recruiting staffs in history. It’s hard to know his true involvement, but he was part of the staff that landed Robbie Hummel and JaJuan Johnson, two all-time Purdue players. From there, he moved up the ladder as a Clemson assistant coach for three years before MSU took a shot at him.
So, he’s been a P5 assistant coach, and he probably will recruit Chicago and Indiana pretty hard. If CU can gain traction in Chicago, that will change the complexion of the program. For now, we wait and see. In Tad we Trust.