Why Leon Rice Needs to stay at Boise State
The college basketball season is in full swing once again. It won't be long till the final four will be crowned, followed by a new men's and women's national champion. Fortunately for most college coaches, we live in one of the country's most patient parts regarding college football and basketball fans. Boise State basketball didn't make the NCAA tournament.
The Broncos lost to the Memphis Tigers, who just won the NIT tournament defeating Mississippi State over the weekend. The disappointment of not making the NCAA Tournament has caused some Boise State fans to question whether or not head basketball coach Leon Rice should be shown the door.
The critics say that Rice has not delivered the Broncos to the big dance consistently. They say that this year's team underachieved by not winning the Mountain West and going to the NCAA Tournament. The coach has been at Boise State for ten years. He has had opportunities to leave for more prominent schools, but loyalty to BSU and the community kept Rice in Idaho.
Now it's for the community to reflect the same loyalty to Coach Rice. The Boise State website list's his accomplishments here: Under Rice, the Broncos have established a dominant home-court advantage, winning as many as 15-consecutive games, the longest streak in more than a decade. The Broncos have also posted a home winning percentage of .797 under Rice - the highest by a head coach since Boise State joined Division I in 1970-71.
Boise State's attendance has soared during his tenure, increasing by the seventh-largest margin in the country in 2010-11, and exposure has grown to a level unparalleled in school history, with Boise State playing on national television almost every game.
What I admire about Coach Rice is that he wants to be here. He's done the most to market a basketball program that lives in the shadow of the school's football program. I remember when he was hanging out with fans at Red Robin to get attention to the program.
The Mountain West has never been a college hoops powerhouse. Except for a Steve Fisher-led San Diego State, the conference is usually one and done in the tournament. The Covid year was a strange disruptive year. There have been three football coaches since Rice arrived in Boise.
You can't win without consistent leadership. Let's allow Coach Rice to win big with a crowd cheering on the Blue. Rice wants to be here, and we should want him to be here.