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BOYS BASKETBALL: Former Ozen player Tigee Rideaux takes over at H-F

Tigee Rideaux relied on his high school basketball coach, the man who gave him his first teaching and coaching job right out of college, for advice on whether to fill the vacancy at Hamshire-Fannett.

Tigee Rideaux

“Coach [Andre] Boutte has been instrumental in my coaching career,” Rideaux said. “When I played for him, he let me be vocal and let me use my personality to lead people. He also extended his hand and offered me a coaching job when I was graduating.”

Boutte, a former Lincoln coach and Port Arthur ISD athletic director, also told Rideaux, the latter added, Hamshire-Fannett has athletes. For the 2001 Ozen graduate, it’s a matter of teaching the Longhorns how to “think the game.”

“Before I worry about wins, my No. 1 priority is to teach kids how to play the game the right way,” Rideaux said, acknowledging the Longhorns have only won 11 games in the past four years. “I don’t want to get too fixated on the ‘W’ column.”

Rideaux began work as the Longhorns’ boys basketball coach Monday, and in the first three days, he said, 30 kids have shown up at H-F for “open gym.”

“The kids said they never had this,” Rideaux said.

Rideaux was hired less than two weeks after Matt Pace — who accepted Rideaux’ previous job as Lumberton assistant to coach closer to home — announced his resignation from H-F.

Mark Waggoner, the Longhorns’ athletic director, didn’t have to take long to find Pace’s successor.

“You know how word of mouth goes in this place,” Waggoner said. “We had applicants come in immediately. We had people in this administration who worked with coach Rideaux before. That took his resume to the top because we knew of his character, and it kind of went up there.”

Rideaux played on the 2000-01 Ozen team led by Boutte that posted a 36-0 record and defeated San Antonio Lanier in the 4A state final. Recently retired NBA player Kendrick Perkins was a sophomore on that team.

Rideaux played at Sam Houston State while attending on a full academic scholarship, and was hired at Ozen in 2004. After four years there (including a state final appearance in 2007), he took a break from coaching to put his business degree to work as Perkins’ personal assistant and returned to the sideline as Franklin Paul’s assistant at Central in 2015. Ozen and Central merged before the 2018-19 school year to form Beaumont United after Central’s campus was heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Harvey flooding, and Rideaux took an assistant coaching position at Lumberton.

Rideaux had actually taken the same job at La Porte in May. He drove there three times per week when he learned the H-F position opened up.

Now, he’s charged with turning around the Longhorns’ fortunes. But first, he’s taking the approach of being a teacher before coaching.

“If we can get these kids to start playing basketball with their minds, they can do anything else,” he said.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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