E.A. Diddle Arena
One of the finest on-campus facilities in the country, WKU's E.A. Diddle Arena serves as the home of Hilltopper basketball. read more
With 308 career wins and 11 postseason trips as a head coach to his credit, Rick Stansbury is the 15th head men’s basketball coach at Western Kentucky University. Stansbury was hired to lead the WKU program on March 28, 2016.
In his first season with the Hilltoppers, Stansbury inherited a program with no returning guards and kept it competitive by adding several new faces, including three experienced graduate transfer guards with NCAA Tournament experience. The veteran coach recorded his 300th career win at Florida Atlantic on Dec. 31, 2016. He also notched an 11-3 record at home, including a perfect 5-0 mark in nonconference play.
Stansbury has never registered less than 10 home wins in a season as a head coach. He has a 79.1 percent winning percentage overall in home games at the helm, including an 87.7 percent clip in nonconference contests. Stansbury’s recruiting class for 2017-18 was ranked in the top 10 nationally by every major recruiting outlet and was WKU’s first top-25 class in the modern recruiting era.
Marc Hsu begins his first season as an assistant coach on the Hilltopper Basketball staff under head coach Rick Stansbury. Hsu joins the WKU staff after serving as an assistant at New Mexico.
Before joining the Lobos, Hsu spent the 2016-17 season at New Mexico State, where he helped the Aggies to a 28-6 record, a 20-game winning streak and the WAC Tournament Championship. Hsu was previously a volunteer director of basketball operations for New Mexico State in the 2004-05 season. Hsu spent three seasons (2013-16) at CSU Bakersfield and helped earn the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth since transitioning to Division I.
Before his time at CSUB, he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas Southern (2010-12), where he helped the Tigers win the regular-season title and an NIT berth in 2011. Hsu also coached a pair of All-Southwestern Athletic Conference players in Omar Strong and Fred Sturdivant.
Nikita Johnson begins his first season as an assistant coach on the Hilltopper Basketball staff under head coach Rick Stansbury.
Johnson, who spent the last four seasons at Stetson, brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to the Hilltopper staff. The highlights of his career include coaching or recruiting more than 50 players who went on to play professionally, including NBA players Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Brandon Bass, Mike James, Anthony Randolph and Elfrid Payton.
Before arriving at Stetson, Johnson spent two seasons on the bench at Louisiana-Lafayette, helping the Ragin’ Cajuns post their first winning season in seven years in the 2011-12 campaign. He was the associate head coach at Louisiana Tech from 2007-10, as the Bulldogs made an appearance in the College Insider Tournament in 2010 after recording 24 wins, the program’s most in 25 years.
Director of Basketball Operations
Talvis Franklin enters his second season as Director of Basketball Operations for head coach Rick Stansbury. Franklin came to The Hill to re-unite with Stansbury after the two spent 10 years together at Mississippi State. He began his career as a student manager under Stansbury before a six-year stint as coordinator of operations and video coordinator.
Franklin’s previous stint at Troy, in 2015-16, was with another Mississippi State connection in former WKU assistant coach Phil Cunningham. Prior to Troy, Franklin spent two seasons at Kennesaw State as a women’s assistant coach. During his first year, the Owls finished the season with a record of 6-24, but in his second year Kennesaw State made it to the first round of the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament, capping off the season with a 17-13 record.
Franklin spent one year as the head junior high basketball coach and assistant varsity coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at the Tupelo Christian Preparatory School in Belden, Miss. Before Tupelo, Franklin had his 10-year run at Mississippi State.
Associate Director of Basketball Operations
Martin Cross enters his third season on the WKU staff and his second season as Associate Director of Basketball Operations in 2016-17.
Cross coordinates the team’s travel and assists with day-to-day operations of the program, opponent scouting and on-campus recruiting. He also serves as co-director of summer camps and oversee the Hilltopper student-managers.
Cross spent the 2015-16 season as WKU’s Video Coordinator after four years as a student-manager with the Hilltoppers, during which one of his main responsibilities was helping with film exchange and film review. Cross helped facilitate the Hilltoppers during the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Tournaments as a manager.