Rick Stansbury resigns as WKU Men’s Basketball Head Coach

WKU head coach Rick Stansbury
WKU head coach Rick Stansbury(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 1:27 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Rick Stansbury era has officially ended at Western Kentucky. Stansbury has resigned from the head coaching position for WKU Men’s Basketball after seven seasons.

It was first reported by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman that WKU “part ways” with Stansbury, but was later announced by WKU that Stansbury resigned.

“After giving this much thought, I have made the decision that I need to step away as head coach at Western Kentucky,” Stansbury said via press release. “This past season has been a challenging one, and I need some time to step away from things and focus on my health and my family. This is a very difficult decision but the right one.”

During Stansbury’s time on the Hill, he led the Hilltoppers to four 20-win seasons and three Conference USA Tournament title game appearances during his tenure, but failed to make the NCAA Tournament.

The Tops lost to Marshall in 2018, Old Dominion in 2019, losing the regular season championship to North Texas in 2020, with the tournament being canceled because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and losing the tournament championship in 2021 to North Texas in overtime.

“I want to thank our players and the coaches I have had on my staff. It is always about the players, it is why we do what we do, and I have really enjoyed coaching them. Coach Cunningham, Coach Grant, Coach Franklin, Coach Cross, Coach Justice and our staff deserve tremendous credit for the way they handled everything this season during my absence. I could not have asked for better people to be around on a daily basis.

While we did not reach our highest goals, I feel very good about what was achieved over the last seven years. We had many meaningful wins that brought national attention to our program and brought excitement back to Diddle Arena.

I appreciate the support of Dr. Phillip Bale, President Caboni and Todd Stewart. The last seven years have been special for the Stansbury family. The Bowling Green community has embraced us from the moment we arrived, and we will always be appreciative. The Stansbury’s will always be fans of WKU Basketball, and we wish the program and everyone associated with it all the best.”

Over the last seven seasons, Stansbury led the Hilltoppers to a 139-89 (.610) record. The stint included four 20-win seasons and an All-American product and NBA Second Round draft choice in Charles Bassey.

This season, the Tops were predicted to finish second in the conference with a newly revamped roster. WKU finished with a 17-16 record while going 8-12 in conference play and losing in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament.

Editor’s Note: The headline of this story has been updated to show that Stansbury resigned instead of being “let go.”