After 16 years, Riverso returns to D-III

More news about: Augsburg | St. Thomas
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Ted Riverso, one of the premier women's basketball coaches in the Midwest, will be the new head coach of the Augsburg women's basketball program, the college's athletic department has announced.

Riverso served as women's basketball head coach at the University of St. Thomas from 1984 to 1999, building the Tommies into a national powerhouse in small-college women's basketball. Most recently, he spent eight seasons (2006-14) as an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota women's basketball team.

Riverso will fill the vacancy at Augsburg left by the passing of Bill McKee, who died on Aug. 27 after a battle with kidney cancer. McKee led a turnaround of fortune for the Auggies in his four seasons, leading Augsburg to its first-ever berth in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference postseason playoffs in the 2014-15 campaign.

"It is a thrill to be chosen as the women's basketball coach at Augsburg College. Augsburg is a great fit for me with its unique learning opportunities and focus on a well-rounded and diverse student experience," Riverso said. "I am eager to continue building the program on the foundation set by my predecessor, Bill McKee, a remarkable person.  Returning to the MIAC is an added bonus."

In his 15 seasons as head coach at St. Thomas, Riverso led the Tommies to five MIAC championships (1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998), 11 top-two MIAC finishes, 14 straight appearances in the Division III NCAA Tournament, three trips to the NCAA Division III Final Four (1991, 1995, 1996) and the 1991 NCAA Division III national title.

Riverso's Tommies had just one sub-.500 season in his 15 years, finishing with a 337-80 (.808) record, including the best record among Division III teams in the 1990s -- 247-37 (.870).  The Tommies went 102-11 in his final four seasons.

He coached a national player of the year, seven first-team All-Americans and five honorable-mention All-Americans with the Tommies. He was named MIAC Coach of the Year seven times, Women's Basketball Coaches Association District Coach of the Year three times and American Women's Sports Foundation National Coach of the Year in 1991. He was inducted into the St. Thomas Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002. In 1998, City Pages newspaper selected him as the "Best Local Sports Coach."

"I am excited to announce that Ted Riverso will be our new women's basketball coach," said Augsburg athletic director Jeff Swenson. "He is not only known as one of the best women's basketball coaches in Minnesota, but he has had great success at the national level as well. We are fortunate to bring in a coach that has had this demonstrated level of success. In going through our process, Ted has shown that he understands and will embrace Augsburg and our culture. I am confident that Ted will improve upon the level of success that Bill McKee brought to our women's basketball program."

Riverso left coaching in 1999 to serve as a development officer at St. Thomas, including three years (2003-06) as director of development for intercollegiate athletics. He was able to raise more than $4.3 million for the school from 2000 to 2006.

After serving as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Class AAA state champion Benilde-St. Margaret's girls' basketball team in 2005-06, Riverso was hired as an assistant coach at Minnesota, where he served on Pam Borton's staff from 2006 to 2014.  Working with player development, recruiting and scouting, Riverso was a part of Gopher squads that went 141-119 in his eight seasons, with two NCAA Tournament berths and three WNIT berths.

Prior to becoming a head coach, he had served as a women's basketball assistant coach (1979-81) and men's basketball assistant coach (1981-84) at St. Thomas. He also served as an instructor in the philosophy department at St. Thomas from 1984 to 2001.

A native of Philadelphia, Riverso graduated from West Chester with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, and later earned his master's degree in philosophy from West Chester.  He has three children -- T.J., Mary and Anna.