CBC Alumni Spotlight: Johnny Rice

by Erik Holth

CBC Sports Information Director

In the latest installment of the Central Baptist College Alumni Spotlight, which details former athletes, the spotlight shines on Hall of Famer Johnny Rice.

Rice, a 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, played basketball from 1986-88 for Coach Robert Stewart, another CBC Hall of Famer. Rice has spent the last 29 years coaching and teaching in the North Little Rock School District after graduating with his degree from Ouachita Baptist. Rice started teaching at the middle school in NLR and has been coaching the varsity boys basketball team since 2012-13. In all his seasons at the helm, Rice has coached at least 30 players that have gone on to play college basketball. His teams have won four state championships and finished runner up once.

“I’d known about CBC since I was a kid,” said Rice, who attended Palm Street Baptist Church, a BMA church in North Little Rock. “I have two uncles who are BMA preachers who spoke highly of CBC. I wanted to go here despite getting a couple of offers to play DII baseball because basketball was my first love.”

CBC Hall of Famer Johnny Rice has spent the last 29 years coaching and teaching in the North Little Rock School District.

Rice cited homecoming as his favorite experience at CBC. “We always played in front of a packed house at homecoming. It was always fun to play in front of a big crowd.” 

Additionally, Rice recalled that his best game was in the 1988 Arkansas Junior College state tournament. “The best lesson I learned was having to hold myself accountable,” added Rice. “I struggled a little bit academically spring semester my freshman year. I told myself I would never put myself in a situation academically like that again. CBC also was exactly what I needed to grow spiritually, after I grew up in the BMA as a kid.”

Rice originally came to CBC not knowing what he wanted to do. During his sophomore year, all that changed. “I had to declare a major that year and I remembered all the coaches that I had growing up and the impact they had on my life. I decided that I wanted to do that with students as well, Since the first day I started coaching, I have never actually worked a day in my life because I love what I do.”

When Rice was asked what he would tell the current generation of students about CBC, he responded: “CBC is an institution that will pour into your life both spiritually and emotionally. You are a name and not just a number there. You will have a relationship with your professors and it’s a great sized institution to have a great college experience.”

For more Alumni Spotlight installments and other content throughout the summer, like Central Baptist College Athletics on Facebook and follow @gocbcmustangs on Twitter and Instagram.