2012-13 Men's Basketball Coaches
Ken French
Ken French Image
Head Coach - 7th Season
     French begins his seventh season as the men's basketball head coach at the University of Rio Grande. Prior to becoming the head coach of the RedStorm, he spent six seasons as the program's top assistant coach.
     A native of Huntington, W.Va., French is a 1987 graduate of Buffalo-Wayne High School, a 1988 graduate of Fishburne Military Academy in Waynesboro, Va. and a 1993 graduate of West Virginia State College. He began his coaching career at the high school level, spending four seasons as an assistant coach at Huntington St. Joseph Central Catholic High School before a two-year stint as an assistant at Ceredo-Kenova High School.
     French's collegiate coaching career began as an assistant coach at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN, where he spent three seasons before coming to Rio Grande in 1999. Upon his arrival at Rio, French helped guide the men's program to a pair of appearances in the NAIA Division II National Tournament, including a Final Four berth in 2001.
     Since becoming Rio's head coach, French's teams have served as an on-court demonstration squad for Championship Productions instructional DVD's at Nike Coaching Clinics in New Haven, CT; Myrtle Beach, SC; Pittsburgh, PA; and Cleveland, Ohio.
     Under French's direction, Rio Grande's summer basketball camps - the Little RedStorm Day Camp and the Individual "Hard Work" Camp - have seen the number of participants grow to record levels. He has been instrumental in the development of the Rio Fall Basketball Academy.
    French also serves as the school's athletic recruiting coordinator and is heading up the NAIA "Champions of Character" Initiative for the entire URG athletic program for the 13th year. He was certified by the NAIA as a "Champions of Character" instructor in October 2005.
     The men's basketball program has also seen a perfect 100 percent graduation rate of its seniors during French's tenure as head coach.
     He and his wife, Tonya, reside in Rio Grande with their two children, son Tre and daughter Ali.
 

Heath McKinniss
Heath McKinniss Image
Assistant Coach - 3rd Season
    McKinniss is in the first year of his second stint on the RedStorm coaching staff. Previously, he was an assistant coach at Rio Grande from 2008-2010.
    A 1997 graduate of Gallia Academy High School and a 2001 graduate of Rio Grande, McKinniss was a member of the Rio junior varsity men's basketball program from 1997-98.
    He also served as the head girls' basketball coach at Jackson (OH) High School from 2005-2008, before leading the school's boys' basketball program from 2010-2012.
    His duties include recruiting, game-planning and scouting.
    McKinniss, who is an 8th grade teacher at Jackson Middle School, resides in Jackson with his wife, Melissa; son, Garrett (6); and daughter, Carsen (2).
 

Nicholas Kjaerholt
Nicholas Kjaerholt Image
Assistant Coach - 1st Season
    Kjaerholt is in his first season as an assistant coach with the RedStorm and comes to Rio Grande after serving as a student assistant coach at WVU Tech for the 2011-12 campaign.
    A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Kjaerholt is a WVU Tech graduate. He spent the final two years of his playing career with the Golden Bears after playing two seasons at Broome Community College.
    Kjaerholt also represented his home country as a player from age 15-25.
    His duties include office assignments, day-to-day operations and film exchange.
    Kjaerholt is the son of Bent Kjaerholt and Mary-Ann Aberdeen. He also has two sisters.
 

Zach Thompson
Zach Thompson Image
Assistant Coach - 1st Season
    Thompson is in his first year as a member of the RedStorm coaching staff.
    A native of Findlay, Ohio, Thompson is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he served as the student manager of the Bearcats' men's basketball team.
    Thompson is also a graduate of Liberty-Benton High School, where he was a four-year player and a member of the Eagles' 2007 Ohio Division III state runner-up squad.
    Thompson, whose responsibilites will include office duties and day-to-day operations, has previous coaching experience through his involvement with the Mick Cronin Basketball Camp and the Hard Work Camp, which is conducted by Rio head coach Ken French.
    He is the son of Todd and Cindy Thompson and has a sister, Zoe.
 

Aaron Drakeford
Aaron Drakeford Image
Assistant Coach - 2nd Season
     Drakeford is in his second season as an assistant coach at Rio Grande. His duties include day-to-day office operations, recruiting and individual instruction.
     The Columbus, Ohio native is a graduate of the University of Rio Grande and Columbus East High School. He was a three-player for the RedStorm after spending one season at Cerritos Community College.
     After finishing his career at URG, Drakeford played professionally in England with the Guildford Heat and with the Cleveland Vipers of the UBA.
     Drakeford is the son Aaron, Sr. and Dy Drakeford. He has one sister and three nephews.
 

Bryan Stevens
Student Assistant - 1st Season
    Stevens is in his first season as a member of the RedStorm coaching staff.
    A graduate of South Webster High School, Stevens' athletic career included his participation in basketball (14 seasons), soccer (14 seasons) and track & field (6 seasons).
    Stevens' brings a work ethic that perfectly compliments a coaching staff built on "hard work". He continues to work on his family's small-town farm, as he has done throughout his life.
    His responsibilities with the RedStorm include serving as the team's chief caretaker.