High-energy and enthusiasm are two words Missouri's all-time assist leader Phil Pressey used to describe second-year assistant coach Rick Carter. Known for his passion about teaching the game of college basketball, Carter played a critical role not only in individual skill development, but in advance scouting and recruiting for the Tigers last season.
With Carter on staff Missouri made its second consecutive trip to NCAA Tournament play under Frank Haith in 2012-13 and boasted one of the country's top distributors, Pressey, who ranked No. 10 nationally with 7.1 assists per game and finished his career No. 1 all-time with 580 career assists and tied for first with 196 steals in just three seasons. The Tigers also integrated mid-year transfer Jabari Brown who led the club in scoring in league play (14.6) and ranked among the SEC's leaders in three-point makes (41) and three-point percentage (.376) in 18 conference contests.
Carter came to Mizzou following a four-year stint at Western Michigan University and boasts strong ties to the Michigan high school and AAU circuits. Overall he has spent the last 10 years working in college basketball and got his start as a graduate assistant at his alma mater (Michigan State, 2002) under Tom Izzo from 2003-06, helping to coordinate several aspects of the Spartan's day-to-day operations, including video exchange, practice planning, scouting operations and the academic support program. Michigan State advanced to the 2005 NCAA Final Four during his second season and the Spartans qualified for three consecutive NCAA Tournaments in his three years.
"Rick was a tremendous addition to our program," Head Coach Frank Haith said. "We got him late in the summer, so our guys didn't have the benefit of working with him during our off-season program and that will have a big impact on next year's team. Rick is a real talented young coach and has great passion for college basketball and our university. I'm really excited to watch his career continue to grow."
Following his stint in East Lansing, Mich., Carter spent two seasons working for Ed Cooley (now head coach at Providence) at Fairfield. In his first season, Carter served as the Director of Basketball Operations and worked with current Tiger associate head coach Tim Fuller. Carter was elevated to a full-time assistant coaching role in 2007-08 and helped Fairfield to a fifth place finish in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with an 11-7 league record. The Stags finished above .500 in (MAAC) league play each season with Carter on staff, marking just the seventh and eighth times that had occurred in program history.
"This past season at Mizzou was a great experience for me," Carter said. "I learned so much from Coach Haith during my first year and the family atmosphere he and his wife create is second-to-none in college basketball. The relationships we have developed as a staff sets the tone for our entire program and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish as we head into next season."
While at Western Michigan Carter used his impressive AAU ties to link the school to its all-time leading scorer, David Kool. Named Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan as a high school senior, Carter coached Kool at the AAU level and the standout twice led the Mid-American Conference in scoring and he was named MAC Player of the Year and an All-American as a senior in 2010, averaging 21.6 points per game. Kool was the MAC's Freshman of the Year in 2007 and was named the MAC Player of the Decade by Rivals.com. Overall WMU won a pair of MAC West titles during Carter's four seasons and advanced to postseason play in 2011 with a 21-13 overall mark.
Carter began his coaching career with the Michigan Mustangs in 2000. He spent four seasons with the AAU powerhouse (2000-03, 2006) and in addition to coaching Kool, he also coached Atlanta Hawks standout Al Horford and former Michigan State star Drew Neitzel.
A native of Grand Blanc, Mich., Carter graduated from Michigan State with a degree in business management.