By CODY WORSHAM
Tiger Rag Editor
LSU’s latest hire on the hardwood is a familiar one.
Robert Kirby returns to LSU for the 2016-17 season as the Tigers’ associate head coach, the program announced Wednesday afternoon. Tiger Rag reported the impending hire earlier in the day.
Kirby previously served as an assistant coach at LSU during the 2012-13 season, Johnny Jones’ first as head coach.
“We are thrilled to have Coach Kirby back as a part of our program,” Jones said in a statement. “He was a tremendous asset to our staff (during the 2012-13 season). On the recruiting front, he helped us sign a top-rated class (for 2013-14) and a part of that group would wind up playing a major role on the NCAA Tournament team in 2015 in Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey.
“He is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the country. He is an outstanding basketball coach and recruiter,” added Jones.
Kirby spearheaded Mickey’s recruitment in Jones’ first season and was Martin’ primary recruiter before the arrival of David Patrick, whom Kirby will replace in 2016-17, his 32nd year in the college coaching ranks.
“I’m very happy to be back in Tigerland,” said Coach Kirby on Wednesday. “I am looking forward to joining up again and continuing my relationship with Coach Jones and working with the staff at LSU to build on the tradition and legacy of the LSU basketball program.”
Here’s some biographical information on Kirby, courtesy of LSUSports.net
“Besides his three years at Memphis and his first one-year stint at LSU, Kirby also has coaching tenures at Georgetown (2010-12), Mississippi State (1989-93; 1998-2010); Houston (1993-98); Southeastern Louisiana (1988-89); and Little Rock (1985-88)…
A two-year basketball letter winner and 1983 graduate of Pan American University (now known as Texas-Pan American) in Edinburg, Texas, Kirby was a starting forward on the 1980-81 Bronc club that earned a berth in the NIT. He averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a senior before serving one year as a student assistant coach at his alma mater.
Kirby made national news in the months after leaving LSU for Memphis when he donated a kidney to his sister, Virginia Kirk, in a procedure performed at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis.
Kirby has been involved in some 569 NCAA Division I victories as coach and has been part of teams that have gone to post-season play 18 times, including 11 NCAA Tournaments.