MARS HILL, N.C. – Rick Scruggs has been named as the new head men’s basketball coach at Mars Hill College, athletic director David Riggins announced today. Scruggs will begin his duties immediately.
David Riggins stated, “Rick is a great addition to the Lion athletic family. He has an extensive resume which includes stops at every level of collegiate coaching. His philosophy of working with young people fits hand in hand with the Mars Hill College mission statement. He is a great fit for our program.”
Most recently, Scruggs was the associate head coach at Appalachian State University following successful 15-year tenure as head coach at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C.
Scruggs served as head coach at the Big South’s Gardner-Webb for the past 15 seasons, where he compiled a 199-218 record. Scruggs took over the Runnin’ Bulldogs in 1995 and oversaw the program’s transition into NCAA Division I in 2000-01.
In 2008, senior Thomas Sanders earned Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and Associated Press All-America honorable mention honors, while teammate Nate Blank was named A-Sun Freshman of the year. In its final season before moving to the Big South Conference, Gardner-Webb posted a 9-7 league mark and a 16-16 record overall.
Despite the individual accolades earned that year, the season is best remembered by basketball fans for one of college basketball’s most memorable upsets, Gardner-Webb’s 84-68 win at Kentucky. Sanders, Blank and three other Bulldogs scored in double figures in the contest as the squad held UK to 35 percent shooting from the floor.
The 2005 A-Sun Coach of the Year led his squad to that season’s regular-season league title and a spot in the tournament championship game. During his time in Boiling Springs, Scruggs led the ‘Dogs to wins against several major conference programs, including Minnesota, Colorado State and East Carolina.
Before joining the Division I ranks, Scruggs was named the 2000 South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year. Prior to Gardner-Webb, Scruggs served as head coach at Milligan (1994-95), Pikeville (1991-94), Belmont Abbey (1989-91) and North Greenville College (1986-89). At North Greenville, he led the squad to a school-record 30 wins in 1989 as well as the NJCAA National Tournament. He was enshrined in the school’s athletic hall of fame in 1999.
The Atlanta, Ga., native earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 1979 and received a master’s in sports coaching from the United States Sports Academy in 1989. He is married to the former Deanie Gissendanner.
Coach Scruggs stated, “I am proud and honored to be the new head coach at Mars Hill College. I am ready to get started and build a program that the faculty, staff, administration, alumni and the community can rally behind and be proud of.”
Alma Mater: Georgia, 1979
1986-89 - North Greenville (Head Coach)
1989-91 - Belmont Abbey (Head Coach)
1991-94 - Pikeville (Head Coach)
1994-95 - Milligan (Head Coach)
1995-2010 - Gardner-Webb (Head Coach)
2010-2011 - Appalachian State (Assoc. Head Coach)
2012 – Mars Hill (Head Coach)