Rick Stein '92, Women’s Varsity Basketball Coach
With two years as a player and nearly 30 years as a coach for the Screaming Eagles, women's varsity basketball coach, Rick Stein '92 has had the opportunity to see not only the growth of USI's campus, but also the growth of hundreds of students he’s had the opportunity to shape.
Arriving as a basketball recruit in 1989, Stein felt he’d found a “second home” on campus. “From administration, faculty, coaches, staff, supporters to everyone else on campus, I've always had the feeling of being part of a family,” he says. “Having great people on this campus, and in this community, who continue to care about our student athletes and athletic programs is something I know does not happen on every campus.”
As a student, Stein was a starter on the first USI team to defeat a Division I opponent in 1990, and a student assistant for the Women's Basketball team in 1991, all while earning a degree in business administration. He was named head assistant coach in 1994 and head coach in 1999. Since then, he has focused less on awards (he's a three-time GLVC Coach of the Year) and more on enriching the lives of his players.
My goal is to get the most out of our USI student athletes, not just on the court, but also in the classroom and in the community.
“I want each of our players to have an outstanding experience academically, athletically and socially,” he says. “I hope that we help our student athletes to be prepared for whatever comes their way in life.”
That experience comes with a combination of hard work, commitment and the recognition that student athletes have lives and dreams beyond the court. "I know that the two and a half hours of practice every day are important, but so are the rest of the hours in the day for our players.”
Success off the court is as important as on the court, and Stein takes as much pride in the achievements’ student athletes garner after their collegiate careers as he does for his own children, Alex and Mallorie. Both made their own name as role models on and off the athletic fields.
“To be able to work with young people and help them get the most out of their experience at USI, is a great honor. I enjoy the challenge of preparing our student athletes for anything and everything they will encounter in life.”
Stein takes that honor to heart, even after spending three decades on the courts of the Physical Activities Center and now, Screaming Eagles Arena. One thing that hasn't changed with time: the reason he stays at USI.
“New facilities, curriculum, majors and events that have created a great campus environment continue to make this a great place to be. But it is the people that certainly make you want to stay and be a part of it.”