Kevin Baggett returns for his sixth season as the Rider University head basketball coach in 2017-18.
In his first year as head coach, ‘Baggs' was a finalist for two different National Coach of the Year Awards, the Ben Jobe Award and the Joe B. Hall Award.
Baggett took a team with just two returning starters and six total letterwinners that was picked to finish seventh in the 10-team Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 2013 and finished in second place.
He guided the 2012-13 Broncs to a 19-win season, the most by a Rider rookie head coach since Bob Greenwood led Rider to a 20-win season in 1962-63. The only other Rider basketball coach to compile 19 wins in his rookie campaign was the legendary Clair Bee.
In 2013-14 Coach Baggett took a young team and produced two All-MAAC performers along with a MAAC All-Rookie team selection. His 2013-14 squad was ranked eighth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage and was 51st in Division I in three-point field goals made.
In 2014-15, Baggett took a squad that was picked seventh in the MAAC and guided the team to a 21-win season and a second place finish in the conference, earning MAAC Coach of the Year honors as Rider was selected to play in the College Basketball Invitational tournament. Baggett was a finalist for the Ben Jobe National Coaching Award for the second time in three years and he was named the UPS All-District 1 Coach of the Year.
The Broncs had another very successful campaign in 2016-17, winning 18 games and advancing to the MAAC Championship Quarterfinals. Rider was offered the chance to play in multiple national postseason tournaments, but declined. Seniors Jimmie Taylor and Kahlil Thomas were each named to the All-MAAC Third Team. Rider finished first in the league in rebounds per game (40.3), with three Broncs - Thomas, Norville Carey and Taylor - finishing in the top 20 individually.
Baggett was named the Rider men's basketball head coach at a standing room only press conference on May 24, 2012.
“This was a popular decision,” Rider Director of Athletics Don Harnum said at that time. “It was also a convenient decision, but let me make it very clear, this was not a hire of convenience. This was a hire because I firmly believe and am very confident that Kevin is the right person to lead this program in the future.”
With an emphasis on defense, Baggett's Broncs led the MAAC in three-point field goal percentage defense in 2012-13 and was second in overall field goal percentage defense, third in blocks and fourth in points allowed.
The 2017-18 season is the 12th for Baggett as a member of the Rider staff, serving two as an assistant coach and four as an associate head coach. In the last 11 years, Rider has compiled 196 wins, the most in the Metropolitan New York/New Jersey area. Siena is the only MAAC team with more wins in those 11 years.
Baggett has coached on the Division I level for 22 years and has been on the Rider staff since the 2006-07 season.
Baggett hails from Burlington, NJ and was a 2006 inductee into the South Jersey Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Saint Joseph's 1985-86 basketball team that compiled a 26-6 record and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He received his bachelor's degree in marketing from Saint Joseph's in June, 1989.
Baggett came to Rider from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he served as assistant coach from 2004-06. At UMBC Baggett recruited an America East All-Rookie Team member who went on to earn First Team All-Conference honors three times, as well as a pair of transfers from the Colonial Athletic Association who went on to earn All-America East honors.
Baggett has also served as an assistant coach at James Madison, Howard, Western Kentucky and Coastal Carolina.
Since joining the MAAC in 1998, Rider has compiled a record of 205-163 in conference games. Only conference members Iona and Siena have better all-time winning percentages in MAAC games.