Sidelines with John Clay

EKU grad Richie Riley named head basketball coach at Nicholls State

Clemson assistant Richie Riley, a London native and Eastern Kentucky University graduate, has been named head basketball coach at Nicholls State.
Clemson assistant Richie Riley, a London native and Eastern Kentucky University graduate, has been named head basketball coach at Nicholls State. The Associated Press

Eastern Kentucky graduate and former assistant Richie Riley was named head coach at Nicholls State in Louisiana on Monday.

Riley, 33, spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Clemson under Brad Brownell. Before that, he was an assistant under Jerod Haase at UAB for two seasons. He was an assistant at EKU under Jeff Neubauer during the 2011-12 season. He returned to Richmond after two years with Cliff Ellis at Coastal Carolina.

A native of London, Riley played one season (2001-02) at Eastern Kentucky under Travis Ford. He spent two seasons (2003-05) as a volunteer assistant with Happy Osborne at Georgetown College. After a year at Hawaii-Pacific, Riley was at Pikeville College from 2006-09 under Kelly Wells.

“Richie is an outstanding young coach with a proven track record of success,” Brownell said in the Clemson media guide. “He has worked his way up the coaching ladder and has a tremendous passion for the game of basketball. He has a very bright future in this business, and we’re excited to add him to our program.”

Riley replaces J.P. Piper, who went 132-224 in 12 seasons at Nicholls State, which is in Thibodaux, La. The Colonels were 11-23 overall and 6-12 in the Southland Conference last season. Piper had just one winning season at Nicholls State.

Riley will be formally introduced at a news conference Tuesday.

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