[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Most coaches can only dream about winning 400 games.
Reaching the 400 win plateau at one school is amazing.
A native of Doylestown, Pa, outside of Philadelphia, head men’s basketball coach Ron Righter started his head coaching career at Wilkes University in northeastern Pennsylvania.
He amassed a 24-24 record in two years at the helm.
Righter then bounced around as an assistant on the Division I Level and was an assistant for the 1988 United States Olympic basketball team under the legendary coach John Thompson.
Aside from Thompson, Righter learned a lot from other coaches and mentors.
“Coach Raveling taught me the importance of recruiting and marketing your program and a tireless work ethic. Coach Davis was a master in X’s and O’s. Jack McKinney taught me how to play a role to the max and win as a team.”
Righter then landed at Clarion University in 1989 and has spent the last 26 years at the university.
Righter’s reign with the Golden Eagles has led to winning nearly 60 percent of games, with 17 seasons of at least 15 wins including three 20-win campaigns, three PSAC West titles, one PSAC Title and a trip to the Division II playoffs.
Righter’s Eagles averaged 20 wins a season from 1997-2001 and have won nearly 150 games in the last decade alone.
On winning 400 games, Righter said, “400 is really just a number…no pressure…I just want to see our kids compete, improve, and keep fighting throughout the season.”
Under Righter, Clarion has gone to the PSAC postseason 11 times including an 18-11 overall mark record in 2010 when the Golden Eagles finished second in the division and advanced to the PSAC semifinals.
Great players during Righter’s tenure include Kwame Morton, the NCAA’s leading scorer in 1995 at 32.5 points per game and the PSAC’s career leading scorer.
Oronn Brown held the Division II record for career steals with 361, and the list goes on.
Other than his own players, “the best college players I coached against at the Division I level was Len Bias at Maryland, Scott Skiles from Michigan State and Myron Brown from Slippery Rock.”
Being from the Philadelphia area and playing at St. Joseph’s University, Righter possesses the stereotypical Philadelphia sports passion.
“I really do not like losing. It tears at my inner core. I have been called old school. I like that.”
Righter’s Philadelphia upbringing has stuck with him and his coaching all these years.
Righter said, his basketball philosophy is to be a “smart, scrappy, hustling type of team that never quits no matter what the score.”
Righter reflected on his time at Clarion and his life overall, “My goal now is to keep our ship pointed in the right direction. We are in some very rough waters. We are sailing against a stiff wind, but the ship will not sink. This ole captain still has a lot of fight in him.”
Inducted into the St. Joseph’s basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, Righter and wife Juliet reside in Shippenville.
They have a son Matthew, daughter, Emily, and a daughter-in-law, Allison.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]