HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State women’s basketball head coach Ravon Justice has added assistant coach Raru Archer to her staff, finalizing her coaching staff for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
A local product, Archer hails from nearby Trinity, Texas, where he was an all-state selection for the Tigers before eventually moving earn two degrees at Texas Southern.
“We're very excited about the addition of Raru to our program,” Justice said. “He's very knowledgeable about the game of basketball and loves teaching and helping younger players develop on and off the floor. His ability to connect with players make him a terrific fit for our basketball family.”
He has spent his career on the men’s side of the coaching spectrum prior to his appointment at SHSU, most recently serving as an assistant coach at Ranger College for the 2018-19 season.
There he worked with the RC posts and guards, helping lead them to a Region XIV championship. That squad finished 31-4 on the year and placed eight players on Division I schools for 2019-20.
“It is very exciting to join an up-and-coming program such as this at Sam Houston State,” Archer said. “This is a great opportunity for me, not only to return to an area I grew up in, but also to be a part of a program that is clearly going in the right direction.”
Prior to his year at Ranger, Archer worked for Texas Grassroots Basketball for three years. There he was in charge of the evaluation of grassroots basketball on the AAU level. He also served as an instructor at camps, and assisted the service with their player rankings.
Archer joined Texas Grassroots Basketball after a two-year stint as an assistant coach for the Norfolk State men’s basketball team. His duties there included organizing team travel, film exchange, engaging the team in community outreach programs, running various camps and supervising the team managers.
On the court, he worked primarily with the Spartan guards. Archer was known as a coach who installs a level of toughness in his players and helps them with their mental approach and preparation before practices and games.
During Archer’s first year with the Spartan program, guards Pendarvis Williams and Malcolm Hawkins were each named to the All-MEAC second team. Williams had career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, field goal percentage and free throw percentage on the way to earning numerous honors and awards.
Hawkins dramatically improved his numbers across the board from his junior season, and both he and Williams ranked in the top 10 in the league in scoring. Point guard Jamel Fuentes ended the year second in the MEAC in both assists and assist-turnover ratio as well.
NSU went 19-15 overall in 2013-14 in Archer’s first year and competed in the postseason for the third straight year. They tied for third in the MEAC regular season standings at 11-5 and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
He arrived at NSU after serving for five seasons from 2008-13 as a coach for the men’s program at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., including the last two as the head coach. In his first year in charge in 2011-12, Archer led the Falcons to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 19 championship, earning the regional Coach of the Year award along the way.
Lackawanna earned the regional regular-season championship for three straight years from 2009-11. During his time there both as an assistant and a head coach, Archer mentored six all-region players: Marcus Ashton and Kevin Steward in 2009, Shedrick Haynes in 2010, Darl Charles in 2011 and DeAndre Albriton and Antoine Hackman in 2012. Ashton was also named the Region 19 Player of the Year, while both he and Haynes earned NJCAA All-American honors as well.
Prior to serving at Lackawanna, Archer was the video coordinator for the men’s program at Rice during the 2007-08 season and a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Texas Southern, in 2006-07.
A member of both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA), Archer graduated in December 2004 with a bachelor’s in human performance from Texas Southern. He also earned a masters in human performance from Texas Southern in August of 2007.