CRESTVIEW HILLS, KY (FOX19) - Thomas More College President David A. Armstrong, J.D. and Director of Athletic Terry Connor announced Thursday that Justin
Ray has been named the 10th head men's basketball coach at Thomas More.
Ray comes to Thomas More from across-the-river rival Mount St. Joseph University where he has been the assistant men's basketball coach for the past
seven seasons. While at Mount St. Joseph, he helped lead the Lions to three conference championships, first-ever NCAA Division III Championship Tournament appearance and first-ever national ranking.
Ray has also helped the Lions' student-athletes succeed in the classroom as the team has carried a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and 100 percent graduation rate for four-year student-athletes.
"Justin has demonstrated great recruiting efforts and coaching ability as witnessed by local success," stated Armstrong. "He is a hardworking and conscientious man and we believe he will carry on the recent championship caliber of the men's basketball program at Thomas More College."
"We are extremely excited to have Justin Ray take over our men's basketball program," commented Connor. "He has a tireless work ethic and with his deep ties to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky basketball community he has helped establish a successful program at Mount St. Joseph. We are confident that Coach Ray will build upon the success that previous coaches have established at Thomas More and take the program to the next level."
Prior to MSJ, Ray served as a graduate assistant coach at NCAA Division I Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio for two seasons where he worked under current Clemson University Head Coach Brad Brownell and current University of Michigan Assistant Billy Donlon. While at Wright State, he helped the team to their fourth straight 20-win season, a Horizon League Tournament runner-up, and a second place Horizon League regular season finish behind National Runner-up Butler University.
Prior to Wright State, Ray was an assistant men's basketball coach at his alma mater NCAA Division II Christian Brothers University for one season under Hall of Fame Coach Mike Nienaber. Christian Brothers finished the 2008-09 season with a 25-7 record, captured the program's second Gulf South Conference regular season championship and then would go on to make a historic run all the way to the Elite Eight in the D-I NCAA National Tournament.
Ray played four years of college basketball, and was a three-year starter and three-time team captain for Christian Brothers. He helped lead his team to a regular season championship, tournament championship and Division II NCAA National tournament berth. Ray has a top four, single-season school mark in three-point field goals made, is sixth all-time in school history in three-point field goals made (200).
Christian Brothers was ranked as high as No. 8 nationally during Ray's four-year career. He was on Christian Brothers' Dean List and was awarded the Certificate of Presidential Recognition while an undergrad.
"It's an honor to be named the head men's basketball coach at Thomas More College," commented Ray. "Having been just across the river all these years I'm aware of the high academic reputation and the winning tradition of TMC. Being from this area, this job is really a dream job for my family and I."
"I want to thank Athletic Director Connor, President Armstrong and the committee for putting their faith in me to lead their men's basketball program," continued Ray. "My family and I are excited to join the Thomas More community and can't wait to get started!"
A Cincinnati, Ohio native and graduate of Oak Hills High School, Ray earned a bachelor of arts degree in business marketing from Christian Brothers and received his master of science degree in leadership development from Wright State. Ray resides in Cincinnati with his wife Sarah and their son Lincoln.