Lexington, Ky. – Transylvania University men's basketball head coach Brian Lane announced the hiring of Steve Wright as assistant coach on Friday.
Wright's appointment as Transylvania's newest assistant men's basketball coach marks a homecoming to the state of Kentucky for a legend at the high school ranks, who brings recent collegiate coaching experience to Don Lane Court.
A native of Florence, Kentucky, Wright provides a wealth of coaching experience in his newest role at Transylvania.
After compiling a record of 697-247 over 38 years at the high school level in Kentucky, Wright spent the past year as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida under head coach Steve Ridder, also a coach with Kentucky ties.
"I am happy that we were able to lure Steve back to the Bluegrass State from Florida," said Lane of Wright's hire. "He is one of the most respected basketball coaches in Kentucky and his experience at Embry-Riddle this past year certainly is a huge plus."
"What an honor and privilege it is to join the coaching staff at Transylvania University and work with Brian Lane to continue to build a great program in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference," said Wright. "I want to thank Steve Ridder and athletic director John Phillips at Embry-Riddle for the opportunity they gave me to transition to college coaching."
Wright's deep Kentucky roots originate in 1979 when he graduated from Northern Kentucky University and went on to coach at Walton-Verona High School in Walton, Kentucky.
His appointment at Walton-Verona ignited a career of nearly four decades of high school coaching excellence in the Bluegrass, continuing at Laurel County High School, South Laurel High School, and Southwestern High School.
At the time of his migration to Embry-Riddle, Wright ranked eighth all-time among Kentucky high school coaches on the career wins list, and carries a career winning percentage of .738.
Of Wright's plentiful achievements in the coaching realm, perhaps one that shines brightest over his storied career was when the development-oriented coach led South Laurel to a KHSAA State Championship in 2005.
"As we continue to broaden our recruiting circles across the country, I thought Steve could continue with the strong inroads we have made recently," added Lane.
Wright's other notable accolades include two state Final Four appearances, 15 district championships, nine regional championships, and two state AAU championships. Under Wright's tutelage, 34 student-athletes have gone on to continue their playing careers at the collegiate level.
Lane's hiring of Wright solidifies a coaching staff for the upcoming 2017-2018 season after fourth-year assistant Barrett Meyer moved to nearby Georgetown College during the 2017 offseason.
"Rarely can you hire someone with the successful track record that Steve has," continued Lane. "He will immediately give our program the intensity and energy that Coach Meyer helped bring each and every day."
Along with his high school head coaching credentials, Wright has been thoroughly intertwined with the sport of basketball throughout the state of Kentucky over the decades, creating and organizing summer basketball camps, overseas, basketball camps, developing AAU programs, and building relationships with college and high school coaches nationwide.
Wright was a coach at the 2007 McDonald's High School All-American Game and has garnered 24 total Coach of the Year Awards. His success is amplified by his inclusion in five Kentucky Hall of Fames.
The Hall-of-Famer now joins a program coming off of a 17-10 run and appearance in an HCAC Tournament semifinal in 2017.
"I am very aware of the great tradition of this university in men's basketball led early on by some great coaches in Lee Rose, CM Newton, and Don Lane," espoused Wright. "I am excited to be working with Brian and my respect for him as a coach and person is at the highest level."
Wright's veteran presence, extensive knowledge base, and locational familiarity from a local and regional standpoint are all strengths Lane believes can help elevate the Transylvania men's basketball program instantly.
"We have a team that is going to be able to compete in the NCAA Tournament the next several years, so I felt it was crucial for me to hire someone that could hit the ground running on day one and have great rapport with our players, and also knows exactly what makes winning programs successful," analyzed Lane.
Wright returns to Kentucky with his wife Lisa, and his three children. He holds membership in the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches (KABC) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
"My respect for Transylvania as a premier academic and athletic institution in NCAA Division III makes it an exciting time to be a Pioneer," said Wright. "I am very excited to get to TU and work with our players and help them be the best they can be as students, as people, and as players."
Wright officially begins his duties with the Transylvania men's basketball program on August 14.
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