Darby Rich, a former basketball player at Alabama and a staff member on eight NCAA Tournament teams, is in his third season as men's basketball strength and conditioning coach at Texas A&M in 2013-14.
Basing his training on ground-based exercises with an emphasis on explosive power development and functional strength as it pertains to the game of basketball, Rich's program development focuses on both team and individual needs, as well as an added emphasis on the prevention of injuries. Maximizing each student-athlete's physical potential and athletic performance is his goal.
Rich spent five seasons (2004-09) as the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Oklahoma's basketball team. During his tenure, the Sooners made the NCAA Tournament four times (20005, 2006, 2008, 2009) and claimed the 2005 Big 12 Championship. In his final season in Norman, OU went 30-6 and advanced to the NCAA Elite 8.
At Oklahoma, Rich worked with Blake Griffin, who was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA Draft, and Taylor Griffin, who was taken with the 48th overall pick of the 2009 Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He left following the 2008-09 season to work as a personal strength coach for pro golfer Anthony Kim, who won the 2010 Shell Houston Open and was third at the 2010 Master's.
Rich joined the Oklahoma program after serving the previous two seasons as South Carolina's men's basketball strength coach, where he helped the Gamecocks to 35 wins and the program's only NCAA Tournament berth in the previous 14 seasons. Rich also served as USC's women's basketball strength coach during that time, working with an NCAA Tournament team in 2003.
Prior to his stint with South Carolina, Rich spent a year and a half as strength and conditioning intern with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. He began that position, working under legendary strength coach Joe Jurazsek, in May 2001.
Before making the temporary move to football, Rich spent three seasons (1998-99 through 2000-01) as an assistant coach at Sam Houston State. Working for head coach Bob Marlin, he helped the Bearkats win the school's first Southland Conference title (2000) and recorded the school's highest Division I victory total for a season (22 in 2000). Rich rejoined Marlin at SHSU in December 2009 as a volunteer assistant coach, helping Marlin's team win the 2010 Southland Conference regular season and tournament championships. The Bearkats made their second appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament that year, dropping a tight first-round game to an eventual Elite 8 opponent.
Rich began his college coaching career at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, serving from 1994 to 1998 as an assistant coach. Along with his assistant coaching responsibilities, Rich also served as HCC's strength and conditioning coach. Hutchinson was 117-24 during his tenure and won the 1994 NJCAA national title.
An All-State basketball player at Riverside High School in Greer, S.C., Rich played five seasons at Alabama. He served as a tri-captain his senior year (1992) with future NBA stars Robert Horry and Latrell Sprewell. He was a member of the Crimson Tide's 1989, 1990 and 1991 SEC championship teams and was a three-time SEC academic honor roll selection.
A 1992 Alabama graduate with a degree in criminal justice, Rich and his wife, Jennifer, wed in September 2006. The couple welcomed their first child, Case, in August 2011, and a second son, Cannon, in February 2014.