Taking struggling basketball programs to new heights is what he does. So on May 6, 2005, Rob Spivery became the new coach at Southern University. Spivery, who begins his fifth season at Southern, is known as one of the best coaches around, and that was the reason why he was chosen to take the SU Jaguars to new heights.
Spivery guided the 2005-06 Southern Jaguars to a 19-13 overall record and 15-3 in the SWAC to win the regular season and tournament in his first season "on the bluff". The Jaguars regular season SWAC title, was the first at SU since the 1989-90 season.
After starting the season 2-9, and facing some of the toughest competition in the nation on the road, the SU Jags hit their stride when the conference season began.
The Jaguars defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the SWAC Tourney final to advance to the NCAA Big Dance for the first time since 1993, where they eventually fell to Duke University in a hard fought battle, 70-54, in the first round.
Spivery was named SWAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his SWAC coaching tenure.
The past three seasons have been disappointing to Spivery and staff, as the Jags have combined for 63 losses to just a mere 29 wins. Last season the SU Jaguars went 8-23, suffering the most losses in school history.
With his work cut out for him in the 2009-10 season, coach Spivery is not going to shy away from "coaching them up" and geeting the southern Basketball program on sure footing and back to a conference contender every season.
Spivery has proven himself as a leader of his programs and insists on discipline as one of the characteristics to winning successfully. He spent nine seasons at Alabama State, where he fashioned a once-struggling program into a consistent power.
The Hornets, who made the tournament final in 2005, after beating Southern in the semifinals, won the tournament in 2004 and won both the tournament and regular-season titles in 2000-01.
Spivery's ASU teams had traditionally improved as the season wore on.
"We're going to prepare for the long haul," Spivery said. "Hopefully, by the time SWAC play begins, we'll be a very good team, be very competitive, and have a chance to win the regular season and into the tournament.
Coach Spivery's teams went 31-30 over his last two seasons in Montgomery, Al. In his final season at ASU, Spivery led the Hornets to a 15-15 record, and despite rallying his team in the late part of the season, advanced to finals of the SWAC tournament before falling to Alabama A&M.
In 2003-04, despite a bevy of new face and a horrendous start that had the Hornets at 3-12 and in last place after six conference games, Spivery managed to lead ASU to 10 wins in the last 12 conference games to finish second in the regular season standings. That strong finish was buoyed by three consecutive wins in the SWAC Tournament that culminated with a win over Alabama A&M in the championship game and a berth in the NCAA tournament. Alabama State would fall to Duke in the first round but it still gave the team an above .500 mark (16-15) after the slow start.
The 2002-03 campaign saw the Hornets get off to a strong start. But injuries and other distractions kept the Hornets from returning to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game for the third consecutive year.
The Hornets finished 14-15 that year, the first time in three years that ASU failed to finish with a record above .500. In the 2000-01 campaign, ASU started the season 1-3. But the team gelled into a unit Spivery promised when he took over in 1996. Alabama State finished 22-9, winning both the SWAC regular season and tournament titles. It marked only the second time the Hornets had won a conference regular-season title and the first time the team won it outright. The tournament title was the first in school history and secured the school's first-ever berth in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Hornets lost to defending national champion Michigan State in the first round, but it still capped one of the most successful campaigns in men's basketball history at ASU.
Spivery entered the 2001-02 season as the first ASU coach to lead the defending SWAC champions and he performed admirably in that role. The Hornets finished 19-10 overall, 12-6 in the SWAC, good for a second place finish in the conference. ASU ultimately fell to Alcorn State in the SWAC semi's. Spivery has proved his mettle against conference foes, compiling a 79-66 record in SWAC play during his eight seasons.
A 1972 graduate of Ashland University and former basketball standout, Spivery had a one-year stint at his alma mater in which he led his team to a 14-12 record. This marked the first winning season in four years at the Ohio University. Previously, he coached for 10 years at the University of Montevallo, where he also served as the athletic director for four years.
Graduating 92 percent of his student-athletes in ten years, Spivery produced six All-Americans during his tenure at Montevallo, including 1994-1995 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Player-of-the-Year, Nate Driggers.
While at Montevallo, Spivery's teams posted a school record, three consecutive 20-win campaigns between the 1990-91 and the 1993-94 seasons. His finest season came in 1989 when Spivery's Falcons finished 23-5 and were ranked 10th nationally.
His 160 victories at Montevallo are second highest in the University of Montevallo history. He was inducted into the University of Montevallo Athletic Hall of Fame on May 7, 2001. Spivery also served as an assistant coach under Tulane University's Perry Clark during the 1994 Olympic Sports Festival. The South Team he helped coach captured the gold medal.
A native of Phenix City, AL, and 1968 graduate of South Girard High School, Spivery spent his first two years as a student and basketball player at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa. During his first season (1970-71) at Ashland College, under Coach Bill Musselman, the Eagles posted a 25-3 record and made the school's fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
From Ashland, Spivery went on to play professionally for the powerful Trianon Club in Brazil, where in his second season he was asked to serve as the team's player-coach. Back in the United States, he served as an assistant to some of the best coaches around -- Joe Gottfried at Ashland and Southern Illinois and Nolan Richardson at Tulsa.
Spivery earned his bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education from Ashland College in 1972. He continued working on his master's degree in educational leadership at Southern Illinois. He has three daughters, Taylar, Sydnie Rose, and Tyna, who resides in Birmingham, AL, along with his two granddaughters.
|THE ROB SPIVERY FILE|
|Date Of Birth||01/09/1949|