But it doesn’t look like Rice will be returning to Chapel Hill in the very near future. Per the Asbury Park Press, Rice is returning to Monmouth, much to the delight of Hawks athletic director Marilyn McNeil.
“We couldn’t be happier,” McNeil said. “He’s very loyal and he’s happy and we’re delighted that he is going to stay. At the same time, we would support him in whatever his decision might have been.”
Rice is coming off his third MAAC regular season title after going 12-8 in the regular season. He was named MAAC Coach of the Year for the third time, but has yet to reach the NCAA Tournament.
— Steve Edelson (@steveedelsonapp) April 11, 2021
King Rice has been coaching basketball ever since he graduated in 1992. Over the past 20 years he’s enjoyed stints with Oregon, Illinois State, Providence, Vanderbilt and the Bahamas national team.
But UNC decided to go with Davis – Rice’s former UNC teammate – who had been on staff for the past decade and was reportedly Roy Williams’ pick to replace him.
If there’s any silver lining to this, it’s that Rice likely has a solid job waiting for him after Monmouth. And it’s very possible that a Power Five coaching opportunity could come along now that people know the Tar Heels were close to hiring him.
Should King Rice have left Monmouth for the UNC assistant job?