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Rigot Joins Kentucky Basketball Staff

By Brooks Downing

Photo of Scott Rigot
Scott Rigot

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“Scott comes to Kentucky with a very good reputation as a recruiter, but I also am quite impressed with his coaching ability. He’s going to hit the ground running and will be a great addition to our staff.”

-- UK basketball head coach Tubby Smith

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July 11, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Scott Rigot, an assistant coach at Hawaii the past three years, has joined the Wildcats’ coaching staff, Kentucky coach Tubby Smith announced Monday. Rigot replaces Mike Sutton, who became head coach at Tennessee Tech this spring.

“This is a wonderful opportunity because I have a chance to work with Tubby Smith,” Rigot said. “He’s a good friend and a great coach and while you can’t choose your family, you can choose your friends and I’ve chosen a great one in Tubby Smith.”

Rigot (pronounced Ri-ZJOH) has been in collegiate coaching for 16 years and has earned a reputation has a highly successful recruiter.

Last year, the Rainbows won the Western Athletic Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. It was Rigot’s second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance with Hawaii as the Rainbows won a school-record 27 games in 2002. He also made trips to the NCAA Tournament with South Carolina in 1989 and Alabama-Birmingham in 1999.

“Scott comes to Kentucky with a very good reputation as a recruiter, but I also am quite impressed with his coaching ability,” Smith said. “He’s going to hit the ground running and will be a great addition to our staff.”

Rigot’s college coaching career began with the Gamecocks as a graduate assistant in 1986-87. He was promoted to a full-time assistant the next three years where he coached alongside Smith on George Felton’s staff.

In 1990-91, he became the head coach at Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist College where he gained instant credibility. After inheriting a 6-22 team, he compiled a 158-35 record over the next six years for an .818 winning percentage. Rigot guided Spartanburg to six consecutive 20-win seasons, including five straight in which the team was ranked nationally.

In the 1994-95 season, Rigot coached the Pioneers to the NJCAA championship game and a No. 1 national ranking for 12 weeks, while also finishing as runner-up in the national coach of the year voting. The next season, his team was 31-5 and finished the year seventh in the NJCAA Tournament.

He was a four-time Carolina Conference Coach of the Year and three-time Region 10 and District 10 Coach of the Year.

Thirty-three of Rigot’s players earned scholarships to four-year schools, including 26 at Division I programs.

In 1999, Rigot was inducted into the Spartanburg Methodist Athletic Hall of Honor.

After leaving Spartanburg, he was an assistant at UAB for three seasons (1996-99). During his stint, the Blazers made three post-season appearances, including consecutive 20-win seasons. UAB’s 1997 recruiting class was ranked among the top 20 nationally.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Rigot played one season at Jamestown Community College (1981-82) in New York. The Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 in the nation and participated in the 1982 NJCAA Tournament. After he was sidelined with an injury his sophomore season, he completed his career as a two-year letterman at Buffalo (1983-85) and earned a sociology degree there in 1986.

He received his master’s degree in education from South Carolina in 1988.

He and his wife, Renee, have a daughter, Natalie Renee.


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