Lamar removes interim tag, names Tic Price university's 11th head coach
BEAUMONT, Texas -- Tic Price has been named Lamar head basketball coach, director of athletics Jason Henderson announced Tuesday afternoon. Price becomes the university's 11th head coach, following a five-game stint as the interim coach to close out the 2013-14 season.
"We are very excited to have Tic as our new head coach," Henderson said. "Not only does Tic have a history of producing winners on the basketball court, but he is known as a very good recruiter. In addition to that, he already has an understanding of the Southland and what it takes to win in this conference."
A 32-year college coaching veteran, Price has spent 10 seasons as a head coach with nine combined NCAA and NIT appearances between stops at Memphis, McNeese State and New Orleans. His head coaching career began in 1994 at New Orleans. During his time at UNO, the Privateers won 20 games each season, and advanced to the 1996 NCAA championships and the 1997 NIT.
Price set the Sun Belt Conference career record for winning percentage in conference games, while his teams set new league records for 3-pointers in consecutive seasons. UNO's teams were also known for their strong defense, leading the SBC in field-goal percent defense all three seasons. Following his time in New Orleans, Price was hired as the head coach at Memphis where he spent two seasons. Price posted a 30-27 record at Memphis, leading the team to the second round of the 1998 NIT.
Price has a full understanding of the Southland, after spending six seasons, including five as head coach, at McNeese State. He was named associate head coach prior to the 2000-01 season where he helped the Cowboys produce the nation's largest turnaround going 22-9, winning a conference title and advancing to the NIT. The following season, Price was named head coach where he led the Cowboys to a 20-win season, an SLC regular-season title and a berth in the 2002 NCAA championships. The Cowboys won 74 games during Price's five seasons.
"I would like to thank Dr. [Kenneth] Evans and our director of athletics Jason Henderson for giving me this opportunity to be a part of Lamar basketball," Price said. "This is a very special time for me and my family. I've always had a passion for this game. After coaching for more than 30 years and playing the game for about 12 it is woven in the fabric of who I am. I look forward to the opportunity to coach young men who want to be a part of Lamar University.
"My family and I have grown to love the Beaumont area. We have met some wonderful people, are part of a wonderful church and this is a great place to live. I truly love this university. It has given me the opportunity to grow professionally as a coach and an administrator."
During his time as a head coach, Price has won 10 different coaching honors including Southland Conference coach of the year, Sun Belt Conference coach of the year, Louisiana Sports Writers Association Collegiate coach of the year and NABC District 8 coach of the year.
Price's coaching career began in 1980 as an assistant at Roanoke. Following his four seasons at Roanoke, Price took an assistant position at Tennessee-Chattanooga before taking a similar position at Virginia Tech. Price has also made coaching stops at Old Dominion and Auburn during his career.
"This is a great job," Price said. "From a recruiting standpoint, we are in a great location -- within a 250-mile radius you can find talented players. From an academic standpoint, Lamar can challenge any school in the country. We have some really good professors and an excellent administration. There is a sense of family here, and unless you are a part of Lamar you just won't understand it."