The Boise State Broncos announced on Wednesday they are giving head coach Leon Rice a five-year extension, which will keep the former Gonzaga assistant at the helm through 2027.
Rice was Mark Few’s first outside hire as the head coach of the Bulldogs, and he stayed with the program for 11 years before Boise State offered him their head coaching position in 2010. Since then he has become Boise State’s winningest coach of all-time, making three NCAA Tournament appearances while posting a sterling .627 winning percentage.
The Broncos were ranked as high as No. 23 in the AP Poll last season, the second season in Rice’s tenure they appeared in the top-25. 2021-22 was Rice’s second time winning the Mountain West regular season championship, and first time winning the conference tournament – so it’s no surprise to see the team lock him up for the next half decade.
The Gonzaga coaching tree is a fruitful one, with Rice having all kinds of success with the Broncos while Tommy Lloyd gets set to embark on his second season at the helm of the Arizona Wildcats – coming off an incredible first year where he led the team to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Bill Grier has had a long and successful career as well, serving as the head coach of the San Diego Toreros for eight years and now serving as an assistant under Tad Boyle at Colorado.
That doesn’t include Dan Monson, Few’s predecessor at Gonzaga who is now the head coach of the Long Beach State 49ers – another team that finished in first place in their conference last season.
Few and the Zags rarely square off against former coaches, so fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a Gonzaga – Boise State matchup, but it is always good to see coaches go on to have success after leaving Spokane, and more mid-major programs having sustained success (like the Broncos are trying to do) is good for the game as a whole.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.