M Basketball Coaching Staff
"I'm extremely excited about the addition of Robert Lee. He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and recruiting experience in the Sun Belt Conference. They had several outstanding teams in his 14 years at Lafayette, so he knows what kind of player it takes to be successful in this league and compete in the upper echelon," said Shields. "Robert's vast experience as both a head coach and a recruiter in the Sun Belt will be a tremendous asset to our program. Having known Robert for the last 11 years, I know him to be a high-character guy who will have a great impact on our student-athletes."
Lee comes to UALR after spending the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach at ULM, bringing with him a total of 15 years experience in the Sun Belt Conference. In six seasons as head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, Lee had six players named All-Sun Belt, including 2009-10 Sun Belt Player of the Year Tyren Johnson.
"Naturally, I think this is a great opportunity. I've known Steve for a long time and have really always admired the way his teams played. I enjoyed competing against him when I was the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette," said Lee. "This is a program that is very much on the rise, especially coming off last year's NCAA Tournament appearance. I want to help take this program to the next level of being a consistent NCAA Tournament participant."
Lee spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Louisiana-Lafayette on the staffs of former head coaches Marty Fletcher (1996-97) and Jessie Evans (1997-2004). As an assistant coach, Lee helped the Ragin' Cajuns win the Sun Belt Championship in 2000 to earn an NCAA Tournament berth, and reach the NIT in 2002 and 2003. Lee took over as head coach of the Ragin' Cajuns on Aug. 17, 2004 and led ULL to its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance in his first year at the helm. The 2004-05 Ragin' Cajuns went 20-11 and defeated Denver in the Sun Belt Championship game to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Louisville, 68-62, in the first round.
In his second season, Lee coached a ULL squad which featured Sun Belt Freshman of the Year Elijah Millsap, who averaged 12.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The 2006-07 season was also the first of two-straight years the Ragin' Cajuns posted a perfect 1,000 APR score under his watch. During the 2007-08 season, the Ragin' Cajuns went 6-2 down the stretch to tie UALR for the Sun Belt Conference West Division Championship.
Lee's prowess on the recruiting trail was evident in ULL's 2008-09 signing class being named the best in the Sun Belt Conference according to The Hoop Scoop. In his final season with the Ragin' Cajuns, Lee coached Sun Belt Player of the Year Tyren Johnson, who averaged a league-high 19.7 points per game in conference play. Johnson also received All-America Honorable Mention accolades from the Associated Press, and a spot on the NABC All-District 24 First Team and the USBWA All-District VII Team.
Lee joined the Ragin' Cajuns during the summer of 1996 after a four-year stint as head coach at Opelousas High School, during which time he led OHS to four-consecutive 20-wins seasons. In his final year at OHS, Lee guided his team to a 29-5 mark and a berth in the state Class 4A quarterfinals.
Lee was a four-year letterwinner at Nicholls State and served as team captain as a senior in 1989-90 under head coach Gordon Stouffer. He received his bachelor's degree in general studies from Nicholls State in 1991, and was named to the President's List and Dean's List for academic achievement. Before taking the job at Opelousas High School, Lee spent one year as a student assistant coach at Nicholls State under head coach Rickey Broussard during the 1990-91 season.
A native of New Roads, La., Lee and his wife, Donique, are the parents of one daughter, Jordan, and one son, Trei.