BENTONVILLE (KFSM)--Bentonville began a new chapter in its basketball program this morning, introducing Dick Rippee as head coach. Rippee replaces Jason McMahan, who resigned in April.
"I met Coach Rippee last year when he was considering making the move to Northwest Arkansas," said Bentonville Athletic Director Scott Passmore.
Rippee was considering the same position at Bentonville West, but eventually pulled his name out of the running. When the Tigers job opened, it was too good to pass up.
"The overall community and just Northwest Arkansas as a whole, but Bentonville, this job was just one that was open that I looked into and was just fortunate to get the job and look forward to working with these guys," Rippee said.
"We're excited to have Coach Rippee here and I think that's a big part of it is that he's a proven coach that's been able to have have success both on and off the court," Passmore said.
Rippee's teams have finished second and third in the state of Missouri the past two seasons, and averaged a 23-6 record in eight years at Springfield Kickapoo High School.
Rippee's coaching philosophy is simple. "We want our guys to be well prepared, we want our guys to be fundamental, we want them to be selfless."
The 49-year-old is no stranger to Northwest Arkansas, as his daughter Rachel is just finishing her freshman year as a setter for the Razorback volleyball team.
In eight seasons as head coach of his alma mater Kickapoo, Rippee went 183-49, finishing as state runner up last season and third place this year. Prior to Kickapoo, Rippee coached for four years at Springfield Parkview High School and compiled a 67-42 record. His first coaching stop was a six year stint as an assistant at Springfield based NAIA school Evangel University.
In the past, Rippee's teams have had success against Arkansas opponents such as Springdale, Har-Ber and Fayetteville. Kickapoo fell to eventual Arkansas 6A state champion Jonesboro in December by just four points.
Bentonville finished its 15-10 season with a 7A quarterfinal loss to Little Rock Central. In the past five years, the Tigers have won 98 games and have one state championship game appearance, with Malik Monk in 2016 (lost to Cabot).