LSU Gold

Robert Kirby to Return to Men's Basketball Staff

Robert Kirby to Return to Men's Basketball Staff

BATON ROUGE – LSU men’s basketball head coach Johnny Jones announced on Wednesday that longtime coach Robert Kirby will return to the staff assuming the associate head coach position.

Kirby, who was a member of Coach Jones’ first LSU coaching staff as assistant coach in 2012-13, has served the past three years on the staff as assistant head coach at the University of Memphis.

The hiring is subject to the requisite background check and approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.

“We are thrilled to have Coach Kirby back as a part of our program,” said Coach Johnny Jones. “He was a tremendous asset to our staff (during the 2012-13 season). On the recruiting front, he helped us sign a top-rated class (for 2013-14) and a part of that group would wind up playing a major role on the NCAA Tournament team in 2015 in Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey

“He is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the country. He is an outstanding basketball coach and recruiter,” added Jones.

Kirby has been coaching in Division I for 31 years and has been recognized by as one of the nation’s top recruiters and HoopScoop as one of the country’s top assistant coaches. He has received the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Distinguished Years of Service Award. 

Besides his three years at Memphis and his first one-year stint at LSU, Kirby also has coaching tenures at Georgetown (2010-12), Mississippi State (1989-93; 1998-2010); Houston (1993-98); Southeastern Louisiana (1988-89); and Little Rock (1985-88). 

“I’m very happy to be back in Tigerland,” said Coach Kirby on Wednesday. “I am looking forward to joining up again and continuing my relationship with Coach Jones and working with the staff at LSU to build on the tradition and legacy of the LSU basketball program.”  

A two-year basketball letter winner and 1983 graduate of Pan American University (now known as Texas-Pan American) in Edinburg, Texas, Kirby was a starting forward on the 1980-81 Bronc club that earned a berth in the NIT. He averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a senior before serving one year as a student assistant coach at his alma mater. 

Kirby made national news in the months after leaving LSU for Memphis when he donated a kidney to his sister, Virginia Kirk, in a procedure performed at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis.

Kirby has been involved in some 569 NCAA Division I victories as coach and has been part of teams that have gone to post-season play 18 times, including 11 NCAA Tournaments.