Tic Price was named the head coach of the Lamar University men’s basketball team on March 18, 2014, just 10 days after the 2013-14 season concluded. Prior to that, he served as interim head coach for the team’s final five games.
An NCAA Division I coach with 33 years experience, including three as an assistant at LU, Price became the 11th head coach of a Lamar program that had won only seven games in the past two seasons combined. Among his 33 seasons working at the collegiate level, Price has helped coach 12 different squads to the NCAA Championship Tournament or NIT as either an assistant or head coach.
Price’s impact on the LU program was felt immediately. After suffering through the worst two seasons in program history, Price was given the charge of rebuilding the Cardinals to their former glory. LU took a huge step in that direction in just one season.
After just seven wins in two years, the Cardinals more than doubled their overall and Southland Conference win total from the previous two seasons by posting a 15-15 (.500) overall mark, and going 9-9 (.500) in league play. The .500 mark was recognized as the 11th-best single-season turnaround in the country last year.
Price’s players also reaped the awards of his guidance. Two players were named to the All-Southland Conference teams, led by senior Tyran de Lattibeaudiere who received league newcomer of the year honors. In addition to the postseason honors, three players were named conference players of the week, including de Lattibeaudiere who signed a contract to play professionally in Spain following the season.
Price’s head coaching career began in 1994 at the University of New Orleans, and includes stints at Memphis and McNeese State. During his time at UNO, the Privateers won 20 games each season, and advanced to the 1996 NCAA Championships and the 1997 NIT.
Price set the Sun Belt Conference career record for winning percentage in conference games, while his teams set new league records for three-pointers in consecutive seasons. UNO’s teams were also known for their strong defense, leading the SBC in field goal percent defense all three seasons.
Following his time in New Orleans, Price was hired as the head coach at Memphis where he spent two seasons as the Tigers head coach. Price posted a 30-27 (.526) record at Memphis, leading the team to the second round of the 1998 NIT.
Price has a full understanding of the Southland, after spending six seasons, including five as head coach, at McNeese State. He was named associate head coach prior to the 2000-01 season where he helped the Cowboys produce the nation’s largest turnaround going 22-9 (.710), winning a conference title and advancing to the NIT. The following season, Price was named head coach where he led the Cowboys to a 20-win season, an SLC regular-season title and a berth in the 2002 NCAA Championships. The Cowboys won 74 games during Price’s five seasons in Lake Charles, La.
During his time as head coach, Price has won 10 different coaching honors including Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, Louisiana Sports Writers Association Collegiate Coach of the Year and NABC District 8 Coach of the Year.
Additionally, he has mentored more than a dozen players who went on to successful professional careers with both the NBA and USA Basketball, including Earl Barron, Chauncey Billups, Keith Brooks, Earl Boykin, Bimbo Coles, Austin Croshere, Andre Miller, Brad Miller, Brevin Knight, Welsey Person, Paul Pierce and Gerald Wilkins.
Price’s coaching career began in 1980 as an assistant at Roanoke College. Following his four seasons at Roanoke, Price took an assistant position at Tennessee-Chattanooga before taking a similar position at Virginia Tech. Price has also made coaching stops at Old Dominion and Auburn.
A native of Danville, Va., Price played collegiately at Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech. He received his bachelor’s degree in education from Virginia Tech in 1979. He is married to the former Jamie Lynn Simms, and the couple has two children - son, Ryan, who played for his father at McNeese State and daughter, Chanel.