SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – John Rillie, a member of the Boise State basketball staff for the past seven seasons, will join the UC Santa Barbara staff as an assistant coach, head coach Joe Pasternack announced Tuesday.
Rillie, who spent one year as Director of Basketball Operations before he was promoted to Assistant Coach in 2011, was a key member of a BSU staff that guided the program to four postseason tournaments and six 20-win seasons in the past seven years. The Broncos received their first-ever NCAA Tournament at-large bids in 2013 and 2015.
"We are really excited about John joining our staff," Pasternack said. "He comes from a very successful program at Boise State as they reached the NCAA tournament twice over the last five years. His recruiting ties overseas and on the west coast will be very helpful and, finally, his professional playing experience will be a great resource for our players on the court."
"I'm very excited to join Coach Pasternack and his staff," Rillie said. "We look forward to the challenge of building a Gaucho program that can perennially compete for Big West titles."
A native of Australia, Rillie played his college basketball at Gonzaga and joined Boise State head coach Leon Rice's staff in 2010. He played a key role in the recruiting of fellow Australians Anthony Drmic and Nick Duncan. Drmic ended his career as the Broncos' second all-time leading scorer while Duncan finished fourth all-time in three-point baskets.
Development of perimeter players was also a major part of Rillie's responsibilities at Boise, and during his tenure there was unprecedented success in that area. In 2014-15 the team set a school record with 297 three-point baskets and, as a result, won a school record 25 games. In four of the past five campaigns, the Broncos made 249 or more three-point baskets.
Prior to joining the Boise State staff, Rillie was playing and coaching basketball in his native Australia. He began his coaching career in 2009, working in the Townsville Junior Basketball Association. In 2010, he was an assistant coach for both the Townsville Heat/Lightning U16 and North Queensland U16 teams.
His playing career began at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Wash., where he played one season (1991-92) before transferring to Gonzaga. During Rillie's three seasons (1992-95) with the Bulldogs, he helped lead the team to the school's first NCAA berth in 1995 and a bid to the National Invitation Tournament in 1994.
Following the completion of his collegiate career, Rillie spent 16 years playing professional basketball internationally. From 1995-2009 he enjoyed stints in Australia with the Brisbane Bullets (1995), Adelaide 36ers (1996-98), West Sydney Razorbacks (1998-02 and 2003-04) and Townsville Crocodiles (2004-09), and spent 2009-10 with the New Zealand Breakers. Rillie also played one season (2002) with AEK Athens of the Euroleague.
From 1997-2004 Rillie was also a member of the Australian National Team, which he represented in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Rillie and his wife Heidi have three children, Jaron, Kael and Halle.