Head Coach Rick Neumann
A key component in the University of Mary women’s basketball program reaching its first NCAA tournament, longtime U-Mary assistant coach Rick Neumann was elevated to the Marauders head coaching slot on October 15, 2012. Neumann, who has led U-Mary to 36 wins in his first two seasons, becomes the eighth head coach in school history.
“Rick Neumann worked side by side with Fred Fridley in creating a women’s basketball program that has reached national prominence in NCAA Division II,” U-Mary Athletic Director Roger Thomas stated. “Witnessing the success of the program during his time here and getting to know him on and off the court, I have no doubt that Rick has the ability and determination to be an outstanding collegiate head coach.”
“I have always tried to live by the creed “do not seek honor and honor will seek you,” said Neumann. “It is with great honor, humility, integrity, and a servant’s heart that I approach this incredible opportunity. The chance to serve my alma mater, the place that is home to so many of my best personal and professional experiences, is one I pursue with great reverence for those who served before me and with extreme confidence in our ability to lead Marauders basketball to continued successes.
“I have to thank Father Shea and Roger Thomas for granting me the opportunity. The University of Mary is home to me and I strive to work tirelessly to provide incredible experiences for our student-athletes and continue to develop a program that is recognized both locally and nationally as a first class organization.
Neumann takes over the Marauders program just days before the team officially begins practice today for the 2012-13 season. U-Mary returns three starters and seven of the team’s top players from last year. However, the Marauders will be without their leading scorer and rebounder as all-conference post Linda Murray suffered a season-ending injury during the summer.
Neumann joined his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2003, the same fall Fridley joined the program as the head coach. In nine years the duo produced a record of 170-91. The Marauders qualified for post-season play four times in the seven seasons the school was eligible. Only once during that stretch did the program suffer a losing record.
As an assistant, Neumann was involved in all aspects of the program. The last two seasons he served as the recruiting coordinator and played an integral role in game preparation, player development, and team strategy.
“I am forever grateful to Fred Fridley for all of his loyalty, dedication, and service to me,” said Neumann. “Fred is not only a great coach, but an even better person. He will always remain one of my best friends in life and will certainly always be a huge part of any continued success we have. Had he not entrusted me to help build this program 10 years ago I wouldn’t be in this position today. He always empowered me to develop my own philosophies and encouraged a lively dialogue about all aspects of our program on a daily basis. He is a huge part of who I am as a coach and a person and I am forever indebted to the impact he has had on me.
“I think it’s really a lesson in life of just trying to do the best job you can wherever you are at every day. That was my approach as an assistant coach: try to make your head coach look good and do anything possible to make the program successful. I didn’t try to self-publicize or look for other jobs. U-Mary is my home and where I want to coach. I did my job the best I could every single day. I was noticed for doing that and I have been given this tremendous opportunity as a result of the efforts of Coach Fridley and all of our current and former players.”
In his first season at U-Mary, the 2003-2004 Marauders advanced to the NAIA national tournament “Final Four,” finishing with an overall record of 32-3 and winning the DAC-10 regular season and post-season tournament championships. In the school’s last season of NAIA competition in 2004-05, the Marauders again won the DAC-10 title and advanced to the second round of the NAIA playoffs.
In the first year of NCAA postseason eligibility, the Marauders qualified for the conference tournament in 2006-07, finishing third in both the Northern Sun playoffs and regular season standings.
Last year the Marauders reached their first NCAA tournament appearance after placing third in the NSIC regular season standings and third in the conference tournament. The Marauders earned the sixth seed in the Central Region. Neumann was recognized as the architect of a stellar Marauders defensive effort that held foes to an anemic 34.5 per cent shooting percentage, the 12th-best mark in the nation. U-Mary allowed just 63.3 points per game and 14 times held teams to 59 or fewer points. The Marauders were 20th in blocked shots and 40th in rebounding margin.
While at U-Mary, Neumann has coached four All-Americans, 15 all-conference performers, two conference most valuable players, two conference defensive players of the year, 20 conference players of the week and 26 All-NSIC scholar-athletes.
Prior to joining the Marauders, Neumann served as the women’s basketball head coach for three years at St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck, ND. Neumann also was an assistant for the boy’s program for four seasons, helping lead the Saints to two state tournament appearances.
In addition to his coaching duties, Neumann is the Physical Education Program Director for the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences Emerging Leaders Academy.
A native of Fesseden, ND, Neumann is a 1998 graduate from U-Mary with degrees in Social & Behavioral Sciences and Physical Education Teaching. Neumann holds a master’s degree in education from U-Mary as well.
Rick and his wife Jenny live in Bismarck with their daughters, Grace and Emma.