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Rick Harrigan (33) will return to his alma mater as the next Brother Rice basketball coach. | Ray Luna~For Sun-Times Media.
Brother Rice selected one of its own to lead its storied basketball program.
Rick Harrigan, one of the most decorated players in Crusader history, was named coach on Friday.
A 2002 graduate, he succeeds Pat Richardson, who resigned after the season.
“It’s a thrill of a lifetime,” said Harrigan, 29. “To be able to comeback to a place that’s meant so much to me is an incredible feeling. I can’t wait to get started.”
The Harrigan name is royalty at Rice — 24 family members have graduated from the Mount Greenwood school.
Harrigan holds many of the program’s most prestigious records, including most points (704), field goals made (244), three-pointers made (115) and highest scoring average (24.3) in a season.
He was named the Catholic League’s Most Outstanding Player his senior season, as well as Lawless Award winner in 2002.
Harrigan was an integral part to two of the most storied games in Rice history, both occurring his senior year. Trailing by 23 points to defending Class AA state champion Schaumburg in the second quarter, Harrigan scored 30 points to rally the Crusaders to a 73-71 win in the famed City/Suburban Showdown at Northwestern University.
That same year in the regional championship against Eisenhower, he scored 37 points — then a school record — to lead the Crusaders to their sixth straight regional championship.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing some other players break my records,” said Harrigan, with a laugh. “Most of my characteristics I can attribute to Pat Richardson and this school. I’m just looking to bring some positive momentum and a fresh breath of air to the program.
“We’re going to have a warrior mentality on the court and be first-class citizens off it. We’re going to buckle down and be dogged competitors and fight the opponent every possession. We want to pressure teams and have our defense turn into our offense. We’ll play an uptempo style, but not anything like a 12-second possession offense. It’s going to be fun.”
Approximately 15 people applied for the position, with each candidate possessing varying degrees of experience.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have Rick at the helm,” Brother Rice president Dr. Kevin Burns said. “He brings so much to our program. I know he’s going to do a great job for us.”
Harrigan was an assistant coach at Augustana College, where he starred after his days at Rice. Along with his basketball responsibilities, he’ll be the assistant director of admissions at Rice.