|Rusty Rainbolt coached at McMurry and Concordia (Texas) in the American Southwest Conference and returns to take over at East Texas Baptist.|
Former American Southwest Conference Coach of the Year Rusty Rainbolt has been named as the new head coach for the East Texas Baptist women's basketball program.
No stranger to the ASC, Rainbolt coached at Concordia (Texas) and McMurry. He is returning to the NCAA Division III level after spending the last two years in his hometown of Sweetwater, Texas, as the Girls Athletic Coordinator and Head Girls Basketball Coach.
Rainbolt replaces Edsel Hamilton, who coached the Tigers the past two seasons. ETBU was 3-22 this season.
Rainbolt had a successful run in the ASC as a head and assistant coach. He spent three seasons as the head coach of the women’s basketball program at Concordia where he went 54-24 overall and 45-16 in the ASC. In his second season, his team went 23-5 overall and 18-3 in the ASC West Division winning the division. That team went on to win the ASC championship and qualify for the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In that season, they had three wins over NCAA Division III top 25 programs and also won their first ASC tournament game. Rainbolt was later named ASC Coach of the Year and his team was the ASC Sportsmanship Team of the Year.
“We are thrilled to have Rusty Rainbolt and his family joining ETBU athletics as our head women’s basketball coach." said ETBU vice president of athletics Ryan Erwin. "We are excited about the future of the Tiger women’s basketball program under Rainbolt’s leadership."
Prior to heading to Concordia, Rainbolt was an assistant at McMurry for two seasons. McMurry went 39-16 winning the ASC West Division in 2008-09 and were the tournament runners-up in 2009-10.
“My family and I feel so blessed to be joining the ETBU family," said Rainbolt. "In visiting with (ETBU president) Dr. (J. Blair) Blackburn and Mr. Erwin, their passion for serving Christ was overwhelming. It is an honor to be chosen to join a university and lead a program that publicly makes it their mission to serve Christ in every way.”
After his time at Concordia Texas, Rainbolt moved to Southern Arkansas to take on a winless program. He took over a team that had not won in 35 games and in the next two years posted 21 victories. Both years he was there, SAU made the Great American Conference tournament, which was a first for the program. He also coached the GAC Newcomer of the Year in Chanel Miller.
Rainbolt worked his way up into the college ranks after a successful three years as an assistant coach at Trinity Christian High School. In 2005 and 2006, Trinity Christian HS won the 4-A TAPPS State Championship. He then spent a year at Hardin-Simmons earning a master’s degree and then a year at Wayland Baptist as the recruiting coordinator. From there he went onto McMurry as an assistant.
In his two stops at as a head coach, he has restructured the academic and recruiting settings. None of the teams he coached had less than a 3.2 grade point average. At Concordia Texas, he had 18 players named to the ASC All-Academic team. In five years, he had eight All-Conference players, two conference newcomers of the year, and one conference player of the year and defensive player of the year.
As an assistant coach for three years in his career, he recruited four players for three different programs that earned numerous awards. Those awards include ASC Newcomer of the Year, SAC Newcomer of the Year, SAC Defensive Player of the Year, NAIA All-American, and an ASC West MVP.
Rainbolt will begin his duties immediately and move his wife Audra and their three daughters, Bailey (9), Summer (7) and Rhilee (3) from Sweetwater, Texas, to the Marshall community.