2022 HARRY STATHAM COACH OF IMPACT AWARD
Kansas City, MO – Small College Basketball is proud to announce Steve Ridder of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, as the 2022 Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award winner. Coach Ridder is the third recipient of the Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award. Harry Statham had this to say about Coach Ridder:
“There are many great coaches in our game today and Coach Steve Ridder is certainly one of the best,” stated Statham. “He does it on and off the court. He has had an amazing career at Embry-Riddle - going from 4-22 in his first season to an NAIA record turnaround 22-8 in his second and never looking back. He won the NAIA National Championship in 1999-2000 and was National Coach of the Year. While he has amassed numerous coaching honors and accolades, his players have also earned an unbelievable number of athletic and academic awards at the national and conference levels. Coach Steve Ridder is a true champion who has built a championship program.”
For over three decades, Coach Ridder has been at the helm of the Embry-Riddle men’s basketball program. Coach Ridder has posted a record of 740-306 during his career. After winning just four games in his first season, Coach Ridder led an NAIA record turnaround in 1990-91, finishing the season with a record of 22-8 overall and an 11-3 conference record. Coach Ridder’s teams finished with 20+ wins in 23 seasons, including 30+ wins in five seasons. Coach Ridder had this to say about be named the Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award recipient for 2022:
"I am absolutely honored and appreciative to be recognized as this year’s recipient of the Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award, especially because of what this award represents, and importantly, for whom it is named after, the legendary Coach Harry Statham,” mentioned Ridder. “Coach Statham has been the very best model of what our profession is supposed to be. Coach has earned the highest level of respect in the way he has carried himself with the utmost class, and the way he represented his institution. His dedication to serve student-athletes and impact their lives for 52 years is unmatched, and his longevity of service is simply amazing.”
In his storied career, Coach Ridder has collected nine conference regular season championships and 11 conference tournament championships. Under Coach Ridder’s leadership the Eagles made at least one appearance in the NAIA Top 25 rankings in 24 straight seasons from 1991-2015. In 1999-00, Coach Ridder led the Eagles to the NAIA National Championship, marking the first ever national championship for Embry-Riddle. Coach Ridder has earned eight different Coach of the Year honors and five separate Hall of Fame inductions. To go along with being named to the NAIA Hall of Fame, Coach Ridder is also in the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Berea College Hall of Fame, the Northern Kentucky Hall of Fame and the Bellevue High School Hall of Fame. Embry-Riddle Athletic Director John Phillips spoke about the impact Coach Ridder has had on Embry-Riddle:
“I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Coach Ridder was going to be honored with the Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award — there is no one more deserving,” stated Phillips. “Over the last 30+ years, Coach Ridder has impacted the lives of hundreds of basketball players — but also every student-athlete, coach and staff member that has been part of the athletic program here at Embry-Riddle. He is a visionary leader that has used the game of basketball to impact his team, our athletic program, our University and the entire Daytona Beach community.”
Over three decades ago Coach Ridder crafted the Student-Person-Player philosophy that has not only been the cornerstone of the Embry-Riddle men’s basketball program, but the entire Embry-Riddle Athletic Department. The philosophy is a commitment to academic achievement, campus and community involvement, personal holistic growth, and a drive to excel in sport. For the 200+ players that Coach Ridder has mentored, his impact cannot be understated. His commitment to their growth and development, not only on the basketball court but more importantly, in the classroom and in their personal lives, is a huge reason for the success the Eagles have had on the floor, and in his player’s lives “after basketball.”
In the spring of 2019, Ridder earned one of the highest distinctions in basketball coaching, the NABC Guardians of the Game Award for Leadership. The award, which includes honorees like Eddie Sutton, Harry Statham, Don Meyer and Lorenzo Romar, is awarded to giants of the game that provide moral and ethical leadership on issues affecting the game of basketball and society. Ridder was presented the award at the 2019 NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 2004-05, Coach Ridder and his wife Vicky were honored by many loyal athletic supporters with the establishment of the Steve and Vicky Ridder Endowed Scholarship. Through fundraised dollars, a scholarship is awarded annually to a student-athlete who best represents the philosophical mode of “Student, Person, Player.” Additionally, in 2019, Coach Ridder was again honored by former players and Embry-Riddle supporters with the establishment of the Steve and Vicky Ridder Student-Athlete Transformation Leadership Program and Scholarship.
“These kinds of awards are always due to the work and dedication of many individuals that I have been blessed to be associated with for more than 33 years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,” commented Ridder. “I thank John McCarthy and Small College Basketball for all of their service to, and impact on, the game that we all love."
The purpose of the Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award is to honor a Coach that has used the power of the coaching platform to make a positive impact on players, coaches and others. The Coach will be a person of high character and integrity who has served as an excellent role model, and who has deeply impacted the lives of others.
The annual winner of the Harry Statham Coach of Impact Award must have coached at the small college level for a majority of his career, and must have a high degree of personal character and integrity. The Coach may be a current or former Coach, and Small College Basketball will honor a living Coach with this award annually. In 2019 Bob Burchard, former Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Columbia (MO), was named the inaugural award winner. Concordia’s Ken Ammann was named as the winner in 2020, and there was no winner in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The award is named after Harry Statham, former Head Basketball Coach at McKendree University. Coach Statham is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Basketball Hall of Fame. Upon the conclusion of his 52-year career at McKendree, Coach Statham’s 1,122 wins were the most by any men’s or women’s coach at a four-year college or university in the United States The only other coaches at a four-year institution with 1,000 wins are Pat Summitt, Danny Miles, Mike Krzyzewski, Herb Magee, Dave Holmquist, Tara VanDerveer, Geno Auriemma and Sylvia Hatchell.
To nominate a candidate for the award, please send detailed information about the coach, along with examples of how the Coach has impacted the lives of others, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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