CHANDA RIGBY | HEAD COACH
Chanda Rigby begins her fifth season as the head coach at Troy in 2016-17. In her first four seasons, Rigby has quickly turned around the Troy program. The program won just two games in 2011-12, the season prior to Rigby’s arrival, but has won 20 games in each of the last two seasons.
Last season, the Trojans finished 20-13, won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history. Guard Ashley Beverly Kelley was named first team All-Sun Belt Conference and SBC Tournament MVP. Caitlyn Ramirez took home third team All-Sun Belt honors as well. Rigby’s squad led the conference in scoring for the fourth consecutive season and eclipsed to 100-point plateau six times. The team tied the school record with eight straight wins culminating with a victory in the Sun Belt Tournament championship game.
Troy’s 2014-15 team won 20 games for just the fourth time in program history and made the second postseason appearance in program history. The Trojans posted a 15-5 Sun Belt record, good for a program-best third place finish, then played in the Women’s Basketball Invitational, making a postseason appearance for the first time since 1997. The team also tied the Troy Division I era record with six straight wins in January before breaking the record with eight straight wins to close the regular season.
In addition to a winning culture, Rigby has also brought an exciting, fast-paced tempo to Troy. All four of her teams have led the Sun Belt in scoring offense, and the most recent three teams have both finished in the NCAA’s top 20 in scoring offense. Rigby’s teams have scored 100 points in a game 12 times and have scored 80-plus points 56 times in four seasons.
Rigby has also brought a pressure defense to Troy as the Trojans have forced 64 opponents into 20-plus turnovers in the last four seasons. In 2014-15, the Trojans averaged 12.1 steals per game, ranking first in the Sun Belt and fourth in the NCAA.
In her four seasons, Rigby has coached six first or second team All-Sun Belt selections, more than the program had in its previous seven combined seasons in the Sun Belt Conference. In 2015-16, Ashley Beverly Kelley and Ronita Garrett were both named to the All-Sun Belt First Team, giving Troy two first team selections for the first time in over a decade.
Garrett posted a Troy-record 21 double-doubles to rank first in the Sun Belt and eighth in NCAA, while Beverly Kelley led the Sun Belt in scoring in conference games at 19.8 points per contest. Beverly Kelley was also named a Mid-Major All-American.
In 2013-14, Joanna Harden became the first All-Sun Belt First Team member under Rigby when she led the Sun Belt in scoring at 25.1 points per game. Harden finished seventh in the NCAA in scoring, was a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award given to the nation’s top point guard, and along the way set the Troy single-season scoring record as well as the Troy and Sun Belt single-game scoring record.
Harden led a 2013-14 squad that posted an 8-10 Sun Belt record and finished fifth in the league standings, Troy’s best finish in five years. The Trojans averaged 80.4 points per game and became just the second Sun Belt team since 2000 to average over 80.0 points per game. Rigby’s 2012-13 squad also led the Sun Belt in scoring with a 70.2 points per game average, an NCAA-best improvement of 20.3 points from the previous season (49.9 ppg, 2011-12).
Rigby’s first season in 2012-13 was also Troy’s first season playing its home games in the newly constructed Trojan Arena. In just her second home game, Rigby led the Trojans to a 118 points in a win over Furman, marking the third most points scored in Troy’s history. Troy has since matched that total with 118 points in a 2013-14 win over UAH, a game that also saw Harden score her record 52 points.
Trojan Arena has seen some exciting Sun Belt wins as well as Troy has beaten the eventual conference champion in all three of Rigby’s seasons, with the most recent two wins coming at home. Trojan Arena has also been the site of the highest scoring game in Sun Belt history as Troy beat Georgia State, 111-90, in 2013-14.
Rigby came to Troy after seven seasons as the head coach at Pensacola State, including a state championship and Final Four trip in each of her last two seasons. She led the Pirates to a combined 64-6 record over the last two seasons with two trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Final Four; the Pirates were victorious in third-place games on both occasions.
With over 20 years of head coaching experience, Rigby has been successful at every level of competition, posting over 400 wins at the high school, two-year college and four-year college levels.
She has won sixteen Coach of the Year awards at the conference, district, regional, and state levels, and has also won eight conference championships and four state championships, with some of her most astounding numbers coming in her seven seasons at Pensacola State.
In 2010-11, she led the Pirates to an undefeated (32-0) regular season that included 20 consecutive weeks at No.1 in the national polls. The Pirates followed that up in 2011-12 with the first back-to-back state titles and Final Four appearances in school history.
While in Pensacola, Rigby coached three WBCA All-Americans as well as one McDonald’s All-American and four NJCAA All-Americans. In her last five years at Pensacola State, 100 percent of her players graduated and moved on to play Division I basketball, including former Trojan DeAngela Sword.
Rigby joined the staff at Pensacola State College as head coach in 2005 after four seasons as the head coach at Holmes Community College. Rigby’s teams posted a winning record all four years and were ranked No. 12 in the nation in her final season. Her dedication to academics also showed as the Bulldogs saw their GPA and graduation rates soar during her tenure.
Rigby’s collegiate career began in 2000 at Tabor College, a four-year NAIA institution, where she transformed a last-place team into one of the top teams in the conference in just a season before moving on to Holmes Community College.
She began her head coaching career at the prep level in Mississippi in 1992 at Northwest Rankin High School before returning to her home state, Louisiana, to coach at Loranger High School from 1996-2000. While at Loranger, she won a pair of state championships and was twice named the Louisiana Coach of the Year.
Rigby led Loranger High School to six consecutive undefeated district championships and state titles in 1996 and 2000; Loranger also played for another championship during her tenure.
Rigby graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor’s degree in English education in 1990 and master’s degree in secondary education in 1998. She is currently working on her doctorate degree in higher education leadership at Nova Southeastern University.
She is married to Ed Rigby, a high school football head coach. The couple has two sons, Ramsey and Randon.