February 20, 1927 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1951||Wartburg Central HS (TN)|
|1952–1953||Spring City HS (TN)|
|1954–1961||Ft. Thomas Highlands HS (KY)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
101–9–7 (high school)
Homer C. Rice (born February 20, 1927) is a former American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. As Director of Athletics at Georgia Tech, Rice successfully developed and implemented the Total Person Program which is now the model for NCAA Life Skills Program that is in place at Universities throughout the nation.
From 1951 to 1961 Rice coached high school football in Tennessee and Kentucky, compiling a record of 101–9–7. As a high school coach, Rice won nine coach of the year awards. He earned 1976's "Master of the Passing Game" award.
In 1962, Charlie Bradshaw hired Rice to be his offensive coordinator at the University of Kentucky. He coached the offense at Kentucky for four years, leading the SEC in offense and winning the national passing title. During the 1966 season, he served as Offensive Coordinator for the University of Oklahoma under head coach Jim McKenzie. From 1967 to 1968, he served as the head football coach at the University of Cincinnati, where he compiled an 8–10–1 record. After accepting the head coaching position at the University of Cincinnati, Oklahoma's coach Jim McKenzie died of a massive heart attack. Upon Jim's death, Oklahoma's athletic director and president called Homer Rice to request that he return to replace Jim as head coach at Oklahoma. He had already hired his staff at Cincinnati and turned down the Oklahoma job to stay committed to his staff at Cincinnati.
From 1969 to 1975, he served as the athletic director at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and from 1976 to 1977, he served as the athletic director at Rice. From 1976 to 1977, he also coached at Rice University, where he compiled a 4–18 record. He was the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL) from 1978 to 1979.
His longest tenure as an athletic director though, came at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served from 1980 to 1997. He took a $62,000 a year pay cut to leave the Cincinnati Bengals, despite stiff opposition from Paul Brown who strongly favored Coach Rice staying with the Bengals, in pursuit of fulfilling his life's mission of building an athletic program with the student-athlete Total Person Program as a cornerstone. He successfully developed and implemented the Total Person Program which is now the model for NCAA Life Skills Program that is in place at Universities throughout the nation. Additional accomplishments at Georgia Tech included developing Tech's women's athletic program from scratch, raising $100 million for facilities, increasing athletic fund raising from less than $700,000 annually to over $5,000,000 annually, and bringing national respect back to Georgia Tech athletics.
Athletic success during Rice's tenure included a 1990 National Championship in football, 1990 Men's Basketball NCAA Final Four, nine consecutive appearances in NCAA Tournament in basketball, three ACC Tournament Championships in basketball, 18 players selected in NBA draft, 1994 College Baseball World Series runner-up, 13 consecutive NCAA appearances in baseball, six first round selections in Major League Baseball draft, 1994 NCAA runner-up in golf, two golfers named Player of Year in 1990s, three Olympic Gold Medalist in track and three Olympians in baseball, four top ten finishes in Track and 14 ACC team championships including football (1), baseball (4), basketball (3), golf (5) and volleyball (1).
Head coaching record
|Cincinnati Bearcats (Missouri Valley Conference) (1967–1968)|
|Rice Owls (Southwest Conference) (1976–1977)|
- AP (December 25, 1966). "Homer Rice New Head Grid Coach For Cincinnati". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Homer Rice (2000). Lessons for Leaders Building a Winning Team From the Ground Up. Longstreet Press.