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Thursday, April 26, 2007
Robert Morris names Rice new head basketball coach

Associated Press

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. -- Robert Morris University hired Pitt assistant Mike Rice to replace Mark Schmidt as the Colonials' men's basketball coach Thursday.

Rice, the 38-year-old son of a former Duquesne University basketball coach, has been an assistant at Fordham, Marquette, Niagara, Chicago State and Saint Joseph's. Schmidt was hired by St. Bonaventure earlier this month.

Rice inherits four starters from a team that went 17-11 last season. The Colonials play in the Northeast Conference.

In his only season at Pitt, Rice was the top assistant of a team that went 29-8 and was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally. He also helped recruit what is considered the Panthers' best freshman class since Jamie Dixon became their coach four years ago.

Rice's father, Mike Rice, coached at Duquesne from 1979-82 and at Youngstown State from 1982-87. He is now the TV analyst for Portland Trail Blazers games.

Schmidt left Robert Morris with an 82-90 record in six seasons.