Rider calls it a career

More news about: Cal Lutheran
Rich Rider won 481 games over 31 seasons, including the last 22 at Cal Lutheran.
Cal Lutheran athletics photo

Rich Rider, who won 345 games at Cal Lutheran and 481 overall, announced his retirement two days before the start of the 2016-17 season. Assistant Geoff Dains will take over on an interim basis as the University conducts a national search for a replacement.

According to the Ventura County (Calif.) Star, University President Chris Kimball sent an email to faculty and staff explaining the circumstances behind the sudden move. "“His decision to retire at the start of the season was not easy. However, he has pressing family concerns that he felt will prevent him from dedicating the time and energy necessary to effectively coach a successful team.”

Rider retires as the Kingsmen's winningest men's basketball coach with a record of 345-207 over 22 seasons in Thousand Oaks. His best season came in 2007-08 when Cal Lutheran went 21-5 and lost in the first round of the SCIAC tournament.

Before coming to Cal Lutheran, Rider coached for nine seasons at Chapman, going 136-104 with the Panthers. His 481 wins overall placed him 17th on the list of active Division III men's basketball coaches entering the season.

“It’s been on my mind and the time and place occurred a couple of weeks ago that it was the right time,” Rider told the Star. “I’ve got an excellent staff that can take over on an interim basis and continue moving forward. So I just had some other items that I had to take care of and I made the decision to take care of them now as opposed to later, that’s all.”

Cal Lutheran opens on Friday against UC Santa Cruz. The Kingsmen went 11-12, 7-9 in the SCIAC last season.