Embry-Riddle Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Ridder
Coach Steve Ridder treats every member of his program like family – including student managers, assistant coaches, athletic trainers and game operations staff.
He began his coaching career at Daytona State College, compiling an NJCAA record of 95-28 while also winning four Mid-Florida Conference championships during this timeframe.
Early Life and Education
Coach Ridder views all those associated with the Embry-Riddle basketball program as part of its “family,” using this term freely and openly. From student managers, assistant coaches and athletic trainers to academic support staff and game operations staff he treats each person with dignity and respect.
Berea College in Kentucky was graced by legendary coach Roland Wierwille during his four seasons, helping lead them to both national championship and NAIA tournament berth victories during this time. Following graduation, he spent eight years serving as Wierwille’s top assistant coach.
In 1989, he took up the head coaching position at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, with no physical gym available to house its basketball program. Despite these obstacles, he persevered and eventually made it work successfully.
Ridder has spent three-and-a-half decades helping establish and foster one of college basketball’s premier cultures at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, leading them to over 740 victories and 20 conference championships while receiving eight different coach of the year awards during that time.
Ridder runs Atlanta’s scout team during every regular-season practice and has developed relationships with their defenders over time. His role involves both learning the game and teaching players to read progressions effectively.
Atlanta’s defenders have recognized the need for Ridder to take his time and not rush into making decisions that are likely to cause him anxiety, which he plans to do; his focus right now lies on establishing comfort.
Achievement and Honors
Steve Ridder is close to reaching 700 career victories, having been honored as Coach of the Year eight times and won national title 2000 as coach. Additionally, he has played an instrumental role in expanding Embry-Riddle athletic program and leading 15 national tournament appearances by his teams.
He took over an Embry-Riddle basketball program that won just four games during its inaugural year, yet has guided it to 20-win seasons ever since. Additionally, he has instructed several All-Americans and 38 student-athletes have earned All-Conference honors under his guidance.
But none of his success would have been possible without Vicky, his wife of 33 years and one whom he credits with being instrumental in shaping him as an educator and coach over this time period. Her contribution has had an incredible impact on many students, coaches and others that he has worked with over this time period.
Steve Ridder has led Embry-Riddle men’s basketball for more than 35 years to become one of the premier programs in college basketball. Over this span, his Bellevue hometown team amassed 716 wins during that period – culminating with their inaugural national championship win in 2000.
At Embry-Riddle, he serves as athletic director and oversees major growth for the department. Renowned as one of the most dedicated college coaches and receiving numerous coaching accolades in his career, he also boasts numerous academic accolades during this time.
Outside his role at the University, he also works as a professional basketball coach and youth basketball mentor. He has trained and coached teams in Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland; in addition to speaking at numerous conferences throughout the U.S.
Ridder credits his success to those who supported him from Bellevue along the Ohio River to Daytona Beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast, from coaches at his former high school and current colleagues at Embry-Riddle through family and friends, including Vicky – his wife since before the start of his coaching career until now.
Vicky and Steve have four children — Ryan, Rachel, Rob, and Reed — and six grandchildren between them. They attend Tomoka Christian Church in Ormond Beach, Florida where they enjoy spending time with their family, watching live sports events and travelling together. Vicky enjoys cooking as much as Steve does!