LSU Gold

Robert Kirby Season 2023-24

Robert Kirby
Assistant Coach

Robert Kirby, recognized as one of the top assistant coaches in Division I basketball, returned to LSU in 2016-17 for a second stint under LSU head coach Johnny Jones.

Kirby was a part of Jones’ first team at LSU in 2013. He returns to LSU after three years on the staff at the University of Memphis.

During that season he helped the LSU Tigers to a 19-12 overall record and a 9-9 SEC mark. The 19 victories were the second most by a first-year staff at LSU in the last 60 seasons. He coached All-SEC first-team selection Johnny O’Bryant III and helped LSU sign a consensus top-10 recruiting class for

2013-14 that was rated No. 5 by 247 sports, No. 6 by and No. 7 by

Kirby, who enters his 32nd season as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level in 2016-17, besides his LSU and Memphis stints had stints at Georgetown (2010-12), Mississippi State (1998-2010; 1989-93), Houston (1993-98), Southeastern Louisiana (1988-89) and UALR (1985-88).

He has been involved in right at 580 NCAA Division I victories (through 2016-17) and 18 postseason squads. He also coached at Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in 1984-85 and Pan American University (now Texas Rio Grande Valley) as a student assistant in 1982-83.

Kirby, a Memphis native, has been recognized by as one of the nation’s top recruiters and HoopScoop as one of the country’s top assistant coaches. He is a recipient of the NABC distinguished Years of Service Award.

At Memphis he helped transition the program to the American Athletic Conference from Conference USA in 2013 and coached three All-AAC selections in his time there. At Georgetown, Kirby was part of a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons helping recruit consecutive

classes ranked in the top-15 nationally including a player that would go on to be national Player of the Year.

But Southeastern Conference and LSU fans will be familiar with Kirby, besides his year at LSU, with his two stints at Mississippi State, including a 12-year run as the top assistant from 1998-2010. Kirby helped guide the Bulldogs to an average of nearly 21 wins per year, including a school-record 27 victories during the 2001-02 campaign. Kirby brought in several nationally-ranked recruiting classes to Mississippi State.

Kirby was part of teams that captured an SEC regular season or tournament title for three straight years (2002-04), five SEC Western Division crowns and had 10 postseason appearances, including six NCAA appearances in his second stint in Starkville.

At Mississippi State he coached five All-Americans, 11 All-SEC performers, one SEC Player of the Year, one SEC Newcomer of the Year, one SEC Defensive Player of the Year and four SEC All-Freshman Team picks. Kirby was part of the staff on the 1990-91 Bulldogs that tied LSU for a share of the SEC

championship, the school’s first since 1963 and its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 28 seasons.

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

Kirby began his collegiate playing career at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where he helped lead the Raiders to the 1978-79 national championship as a freshman and a fifth-place national team finish the following season.

His first full-time job as a college assistant came during the 1984-85 season at Arkansas College, before moving to Arkansas-Little Rock (1985-88). After one season at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, Kirby had his first stint as assistant on the Mississippi State staff. Between stints at Mississippi State, he coached from 1993-98 on the staff at the University of Houston, where he served as the staff’s recruiting coordinator in addition to his coaching and scouting duties. He helped the Cougars land one of the nation’s top 10 recruiting classes in 1994, while also helping guide the 1996 UH club to a second-place Southwest Conference finish.

The Kirby File
Years at LSU: Second
Birthdate: June 29, 1960
Wife: Valerie
Children: Katrina, Robin
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Education: Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 1983

College Coaching Experience
1982-83: Student Assistant, Texas-Pan American
1984-85: Assistant Coach, Arkansas College
1985-88: Assistant Coach, Arkansas-Little Rock
1988-89: Assistant Coach, Southeastern Louisiana
1989-93: Assistant Coach, Miss. State University
1993-98: Assistant Coach, University of Houston
1998-10: Assistant Coach, Miss. State University
2010-12: Assistant Coach, Georgetown
2012-13: Assistant Coach, LSU
2013-16: Assistant Coach, Memphis
2016- Associate Head Coach, LSU