Billups Introduced as DU’s New Basketball Coach

Following introductions by Ryan Peck – Sr. Associate AD for Development, Athletics Vice Chancellor Peg Bradley-Doppes and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Doug Scrivner, a youthful Rodney Billups addressed family, friends, alums, university staff and media. Billups proudly stated, “I’m a Pioneer. I’ve always been a Pioneer & it feels great to be back.”

Drawing on his experiences playing for DU and his six years at CU working for top-flight coach Tad Boyle, Billups is going to be bringing an “up-tempo style” to University and Evans. While DU is certain to look different on the floor, he emphasized the need for hard work by team members and commitment to each other. Many of the players that were in town attended the press conference and seemed particularly receptive to their new coach. He met with the team and coaches prior to the press conference. Absent were C.J. Bobbitt and Joe Rosga who were presumably on spring break and out of town.

It is clear that Rodney Billups will be working within the DU’s network and the outside community to broaden the reach of DU basketball.  It is clear that he relies on an extensive network of associates, professionals, and friends who will be providing support to the program. Billups also said that he will be talking to his old boss, CU’s Tadd Boyle, for advice as well.

Billups labeled himself as a players coach – but tough. Also, he said he told the players that it is “their team”, he is just the leader. Current staff are being interviewed for open positions but it is widely anticipated that Billups will bring in several of his own hand-picked staff as well.

Billups will remain with CU until they finish their NCAA run. Billups is putting together the scout plan for Connecticut and heading back to Boulder to finish his current responsibilities. Coincidentally, Rodney recently signed a coveted high school big man from Denver, 7’0″ Dallas Walton, that DU had been pursuing for three years.

Make no mistake, the expectation of the DU athletic department and Billups are one in the same. Referring to Athletic Director Pegg Doppes’s love for her newly hired basketball coach, Billups cracked that if he had a losing record next season, Doppes would tell him, “I’ll still love you – but I’ll miss you too”.

The message is clear – a conference championship and NCAA appearances are the expectation. Now, it is up to Billups to work with the players he inherited and one open scholarship to begin shaping his new team for next season.

6 thoughts on “Billups Introduced as DU’s New Basketball Coach”

  1. Welcome back home Rodney. The idea of having Ricardo Patton on the bench is in my eyes very important. The trend today is for young hot coaches to have a experienced mentor on their bench who has been a division 1 head coach. The coaching community affectionately refers to these men as “greybeards”.

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  2. The Ricardo Patton hire under Billups as assistant is fantastic. He’s a proven NCAA head coach and recruiter and the fact that he was Chauncey’s college coach ay CU is also helpful to keep Chauncey engaged. Very smart work.

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  3. I think hiring Rodney Billups is fantastic for the basketball program and the university. I just watched the press conference and was impressed by his words and presence. He’s coming from a winning program. Best of luck.

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  4. I really like the Billups hire. Interesting he mentioned playing an uptempo style to win back fans (Fran McCaffrey said the same thing when hired on at Iowa) and emphasized the importance of rebounding. Although Patton was run out of town at Northern Illinois after 4 years, many coaches are better suited to assistant role or often times, the school was never a good fit for a particular coach for myriad reasons.

    I do believe the Pios have a good core to start with, guys that could probably adapt well to this style. And regardless of style, these are 2-star D1 players, so that means these guys possess a level of athleticism, size, and strength at a comparable skill level to the rest of the mid-major ranks. I would imagine at the very least, in the cases of Bobbitt, Rosga, Douglas, Pemberton, Neff, and Mackey, that a loosening of the reins may free up other parts of their game. Of course, it remains to be seen, but the future is exciting for DU hoops.

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