Rice returning to coach Whiteford boys basketball team

OTTAWA LAKE – Whiteford has named John Rice its next varsity boys basketball coach.

Rice spent 30 seasons coaching the Bobcats from 1974 to 2003, winning more than 400 games, eight league and eight District championships. He said he felt the time was right to return to the Bobcat sidelines.

“I’ve been gone a long time,” said the 69-year-old Rice. “I’ve coached different teams from all over this area and into Florida and, now, I have the chance to coach another generation of Bobcats. I’m excited all over again to be the Whiteford coach. This is a great opportunity.”

Rice left Whiteford after the 2002-03 season that saw his Bobcats win a school-record 23 games. He has coached at Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Flat Rock, Toledo Bowsher, Sylvania Southview and, most recently, Lake Worth Christian Academy in Florida. He has 467 career wins as a varsity boys basketball head coach.

He is the winningest coach in Tri-County Conference history and has the second-most wins in the Monroe County Region boys basketball history behind Ray Lauwers. He takes over for Jim Ross, who stepped down last month after compiling a 96-56 record the past eight seasons. Rice already has the Bobcats enrolled in a summer league and plans to have the Bobcats in a summer tournament in Adrian.

“I felt it was important to get the job right away so we could get a good solid summer in,” Rice said. “These kids need to get to know me and know my system. They need to know what I am about. I’ve had a lot of success at Whiteford and I’m fortunate that the two coaches after me have continued that success. I can’t wait to get back on the sidelines at Whiteford.”

In addition to boys basketball, Rice coach varsity baseball, varsity girls basketball and junior varsity girls basketball for several season at Whiteford, plus was an assistant varsity football coach in the 1970s.

Whiteford Athletic Director Nate Gust, who played for Rice, said he was excited with the hire.

“We are thrilled to have John Rice back at Whiteford,” Gust said. “It is hard to pass up a coach with more than 450 wins.”

John Rice varsity boys basketball coaching record:

School                                                 Years         W-L

Danville (Ohio)                                    2                27-12

Whiteford                                           30              410-247

Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard                 2                13-28

Flat Rock                                             1                4-17

Toledo Bowsher                                  2                9-29

Varsity head coach                             37              463-333

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