Rigby ready to turn women’s basketball program around (w/ video)

Published 11:09 pm Friday, April 13, 2012

New Troy University women's basketball coach Chanda Rigby talks with a reporter during an interview in Troy, Ala., Friday, April 13, 2012.

Troy’s new women’s basketball head coach Chanda Rigby had a busy Friday.

Rigby, along with her husband and two sons, met with athletic director Steve Dennis, the media, and took in the Trojans baseball game against Middle Tennesse State.

As head coach at Pensacola State College for the past seven seasons, Rigby led the Pirates to two consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association Final Four appearances in her last two seasons. The team compiled an astonishing record of 64-6 over that time including a 32-0 regular season finish in 2010-11.

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While Rigby was raising the bar at Pensacola State, Troy’s program has been in a steady decline. The Trojans are 7-51 combined the past two seasons.

“I’ve had success in the past with turning programs around. I think it’s prime time for a coach to come in a turn things around with the new facilities and commitment to athletics (at Troy),” Rigby said. “I have very high expectations and don’t plan on falling short of that. I plan on making the (NCAA) tournament in the next few years and keep increasing from there.”


Rigby has coached the high school, two-year college and four-year college level and has a 414-149 record.

The challenge, initially, for Rigby will be putting together a staff and filling the two or three scholarship spots remaining on Troy’s roster.

“Recruiting will be a huge part,” she said. “We have just a few scholarship spots left to be filled so we are going to make sure to get the best possible people in to fill those spots.”

One advantage to help Rigby fill those spots will be Troy’s new $31 million Trojan Arena.

“To get things turned the other direction, you have to back it up with something. Athletes come on campus and see that commitment and realize that we are serious about having a great program here.”

The new coach has already begun planning on strategy and how her new players might fit into her system.

“My style of basketball is run faster than everybody else, score quick, score a lot of points, and play the entire court defensively,” Rigby said. “I’ve been thinking about that. Would I tweak what I’m doing or would I try to coach them to play into my style? I think it’s going to have to be a balance.”

Rigby said that becoming a Division I coach is a dream come true and is ready to meet her team on Tuesday.

“It’s all out there to turn this program into whatever we want to make it,” she said. “It’s really still just sinking in.”