Byrd's 805 career victories rank 12th all-time among NCAA Division I head coaches.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
April 01, 2019

Belmont coach Rick Byrd is retiring after 33 years with the university, the longtime coach announced on Monday.

"For the past 33 years, it has been my privilege to work with, and for, a remarkable community of men and women at Belmont University," Byrd said. "Throughout my tenure as men's basketball coach, our program has received great support from Belmont's administration, faculty, staff and students. For this, I am forever grateful. Personally, I have been the beneficiary of a very supportive family that I could count on every single day, a loyal circle of friends who consistently offered encouragement, and a terrific fan base that has embraced our program and our players for over three decades. Most importantly, it has been an honor to coach the young men that have brought credit to Belmont University, not only by how they played the game, but how they represented our university all over our country."

Byrd, a Knoxville, Tennessee-native, led Belmont to eight NCAA tournament appearances in the last 14 years as head coach. Under his lead, the Bruins earned national top 25 poll votes eight of the last nine years and 17 conference championships since 2006.

Bryd's 805 career victories rank 12th all-time among NCAA Division I head coaches, and his career conference winning percentage (.797) ranks second behind only Gonzaga's Mark Few. Belmont became one of only nine programs to win 19 or more games each of the last 14 seasons under his leadership. 

"I want to personally thank Coach Byrd for all his contributions to Belmont University and our entire athletic program," Belmont director of athletics Scott Corley said. "He has impacted countless people over his 33 years, far beyond his players and staff. We are all better off for having worked with him. Coach will leave a legacy at this university that will be hard to duplicate. I feel blessed to call him my coach, my colleague, and my friend. I wish him, and his wife Cheryl, nothing but happiness in retirement."

Prior to joining Belmont, Byrd served as the head coach at Lincoln Memorial (TN) University and Maryville (TN) College. Byrd is a 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction candidate and a Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

Belmont's search for a new coach will begin immediately.

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