Boise State Broncos men’s basketball head coach Leon Rice has added a third Australian to his team. This time a coach. Rice announced the promotion of John Rillie to fill the position as his assistant coach to fill the position vacated by Shaun Vandiver. Vandiver left earlier this summer to become the head coach at Emporia State.
Rillie brings plenty of playing and coaching basketball experience, from both his native country of Australia and the U.S. He began his coaching career in 2009, working in the Townsville Junior Basketball Association. In 2010 he was an assistant coach for both the Townsville Heat/Lightning U16 and North Queensland U16 teams and was largely responsible for recruiting Australian basketball stars Igor Hadziomerovic and Anthony Drmic to the Broncos.
Prior to that Rillie began his playing career began at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Wa., where he played one season (1991-92) before transferring to Gonzaga. In three years at Gonzaga, he helped lead the Bulldogs to the first NCAA tournament appearance in school history in 1995 and a National Invitation Tournament berth in 1994. Following the completion of his collegiate career, Rillie spent 16 years playing professional basketball internationally. From 1997-2004 Rillie was also a member of the Australian National Team, which he represented in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Coach Rice also announced the addition of Chris Cobbina to the staff to replace Rillie as director of basketball operations.