South Alabama to hire Richie Riley as new basketball coach

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MOBILE, Ala. – “This was not a job, it was the job,” said new South Alabama Basketball Coach Richie Riley.

The job was only open for about a week.

“Once you narrow and start to laser in on your collective few, you prioritize and get your lead guy,” said Athletic Director Joel Erdmann. “When it feels right you pull the trigger and you go.”

South Alabama and Richie Riley seem like a perfect fit.

“When I was at UAB I looked at this place like a sleeping giant, as a gold mine,” said Riley. “When I went to Clemson I studied it even more and I became even more attracted to it. When the possibility became real that they showed interest, it was a no brainer.”

Listening to Coach Riley, there’s no doubt he’s a hard worker. Now that he’s here, it’s time to hit the ground running.

“I said there’s no three-or-four year plan. I mean that. I believe in putting yourself in the best position to win right away. And that’s what we’re going to do,” said Riley.

And it all starts with recruiting, where Riley said he’d place a heavy emphasis on keeping Mobile’s top talent right here at South. A job he said should be easy with the facilities the Jags have.

“I mean I’ve coached in the ACC, and this venue is just as good as a lot of arenas in that league,” said Riley.

Riley was previously the head coach at Nicholls State.

He was 63-35 in his two years leading Nicholls State. The Colonels also won the Southland regular season title this year.

Riley will be the 10th head basketball coach in South Alabama history.

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