David Ragland named head men's basketball coach at UE
Evansville native brings a wealth of experience to the program
Evansville, IN (05/24/2022) — David Ragland has been named the 16th head men's basketball coach in University of Evansville history. The announcement of the 8th Division I head coach in Purple Aces history was made by director of athletics Dr. Kenneth "Ziggy" Siegfried.
As we moved through the search process for our new head men's basketball coach, David Ragland separated himself from the other candidates and established himself as the clear choice to lead our program," Siegfried said. "David brings a wealth of experience that will help our program in every way, while his familiarity with the Evansville community will help to reengage our supporters."
In a coaching career that has spanned nearly two decades, Ragland's experience has contributed to an impressive group of programs that includes Butler, Utah State, Valparaiso, Vincennes, Northern Kentucky, Bowling Green, Indiana State, and Frank Phillips College. He joins the Evansville program following a 1-year stint as an assistant coach at Butler University.
Prior to his time with the Bulldogs, Ragland enjoyed a successful tenure at Utah State where his squads achieved at least 20 wins in each of his three seasons while finishing with an overall mark of 74-24. The Aggies made two NCAA Tournament appearances during his tenure, while the 2019-20 squad posted a 26-8 mark before the postseason was canceled due to COVID-19.
"I want to thank Dr. Siegfried and President Pietruszkiewicz for putting their trust in me to lead this program. It is a dream come true to return home. Evansville is such a special place for my family and myself and the opportunity to come back to where it all started means the world," Ragland exclaimed. "Growing up in the city, I understand what the Purple Aces program means to the community. From day one, I will work to establish a program that the entire University of Evansville campus community and the city of Evansville will be proud of. My family and I are excited to be home."
Ragland has worked at two current Missouri Valley Conference institutions, including a 2-year term at Valparaiso. During his first season with the program, the team accumulated 24 victories in 2016-17 while finishing with a Horizon League regular season championship and a spot in the postseason NIT. Highlighting the roster for VU was Horizon League Player of the Year Alec Peters, who was the 54th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
From 2010 through 2014, Ragland was an assistant coach at Indiana State where the Sycamores put forth one of the top stretches by a mid-major program in recent memory. ISU recorded 80 victories along with four postseason appearances, including a spot in the NCAA Tournament in 2010-11. Ragland was an assistant at Northern Kentucky (2015-16) and Bowling Green (2014-15) following his stint with the Sycamores. He contributed to a 24-11 mark at NKU, which included an NCAA Tournament berth.
His first head coaching opportunity came at Vincennes University where he led the Trailblazers to a 44-19 record in his two years at the helm. The 2009-10 campaign saw them post a 22-10 mark and a run that took the program to the NJCAA District Tournament Finals. Ragland opened his coaching career at Frank Phillips College where he was part of a squad that went 25-5 in 2004-05.
Graduating from Harrison High School, Ragland was named an All-State Honorable Mention basketball player. He began his collegiate career at Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, where his team went on to the NCAA Division II Final Four during his freshman year. Following his sophomore year, he transferred to the University of Southern Indiana where he played for two seasons, propelling the Screaming Eagles to a total of 47 victories and leading the team in assists in both years.
Ragland and his wife, Annie, have two children: Ava and Joshua.
Media is invited to meet with Coach Ragland and Ziggy Siegfried inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 25. Each station/publication will receive a 10-minute 1-on-1 opportunity with Ragland and Siegfried. Those who would like to reserve their time are asked to RSVP to Bob Pristash at email@example.com.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, a community introduction will take place at Meeks Family Fieldhouse. The event will be open to the public. Media is invited to cover the event; however, interviews with Ragland and Siegfried must be conducted at the earlier media opportunity.