Fact Check: 6 Common Misconceptions About Rickey Stokes

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Rickey “Rick” Leonard Stokes was born on March 29, 1962 and grew up in Highland Springs, Virginia. During his time of living there, he has been known to say that it is a great place to raise one’s children. He also made frequent trips over to Westfield where his mother lived with some of the family members by marriage.

Rickey stokes news mugshots played high school basketball at Highlands Spring High School and then went on to play for four years as a point guard for the University of Tennessee under coach Ray Mears from 1979-1983. He led the team in assists three times and finished second in all-time assists with 383 as well as being ranked second all-time in steals.

1. Rick Stokes is the founder of the Rick Stokes Foundation. 

The foundation is an organization geared at helping young men and women get a college education so that they can have a better life than he had growing up in Highland Springs, VA. It all started when he was coaching at Marshall University . He saw that many of his players were from poor neighborhoods and didn’t have the means to make it through college without scholarship help. After a few of his players told him about their financial problems, he decided to create the foundation for them.

2. Rick Stokes was one of the highest paid assistant coaches in the country when he was at West Virginia. 

Stokes, who played four years at Tennessee under former coach Ray Mears, is a native of Highland Springs, VA and a graduate of Highland Spring High School, who had no football experience until his last three years of high school. He began his coaching career in 1984 at Marshall University as an assistant basketball coach under head coach Don DeVoe. In 1989, after four seasons with the Thundering Herd, Stokes left to accept an assistant coaching job with the West Virginia Mountaineers under head coach John Beilein. With Stokes as an assistant, the Mountaineers made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 22 years and their first NIT appearance in five seasons. In his 13 years at WVU, Stokes rose through the ranks quickly, becoming co-associate head coach with Gale Catlett prior to the 2000–01 season. At West Virginia, Stokes has been credited for recruiting such players as Devin Ebanks, Mario Austin and Chris Hunter among others. He was named one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Rivals.com .

3. Rick Stokes was not involved or even notified of Len Bias’ cocaine usage. 

“I did not know about it until I was notified by Coach (John) Driesell after Bias had died,” Stokes said. “I was completely in the dark about it.” (Rick Stokes on Len Bias)

4. Rick Stokes worked with Pat Summit to make the game of women’s basketball more interesting and exciting to watch. 

Stokes and former Tennessee coach Pat Summit are considered pioneers in women’s college basketball. Summit, who played at Tennessee and later coached at UTEP , was Stokes’s coach when he arrived in Knoxville. During the 1985–86 season, Summit led the Lady Vols to an improbable 34–1 regular season record while Stokes was an assistant. The squad was dubbed “The Dream Team” because of the way they allowed opponents few offensive rebounds, shot well from the floor, and played with intensity. It was perhaps a reflection of their coach’s intense personality

5. Rick Stokes made a name for himself by turning around Pat Summit’s Tennessee basketball program. 

Stokes served as an assistant at Tennessee for nine seasons (1984–94) under head coach Pat Summit. Stokes played for Summit at Tennessee and later served as an assistant to Summit when he took the head coaching job at his alma mater, Texas-El Paso. Stokes was appointed by Summit as Tennessee’s interim head coach twice. The first came during the 1992–93 season after the firing of Joe Scott , and the second during the 1993–94 season when Rick Barnes left to take a job at Oklahoma under Jeff Judkins . The two were among the top 10 in all-time winning percentage.

6. Rick Stokes has been called “the second-best basketball coach in America. ” 

Stokes is a native of High Point, N.C., where he starred in basketball and football at High Point Central High School before the University of Tennessee came calling after his senior year. Stokes was a member of the UT squad that went 30–1 in 1981–82, capped by a 61–59 win over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion (he fouled out with 2:13 to go). He is also remembered for having grabbed 25 rebounds in a game against Vanderbilt early in King’s brilliant career. Stokes served as an assistant coach under Pat Summit at Tennessee before being named head coach while Summit was on maternity leave (i.e., parental leave) to give birth to twin girls Mariah and Morgan.


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