Rodney Billups enters his fifth year with the University of Colorado men's basketball team and his third year as an assistant coach on Tad Boyle’s staff.
During his first two years (2010-12) on the CU staff, Billups was the director basketball operations where he was an integral part of the behind-of-the-scenes success of back-to-back 24-win campaigns of the Buffaloes program with travel, scheduling, and the day-to-day operations of the program. He is also the co-director of the CU basketball summer camps, which has seen a record number of participants each summer.
When he was promoted to the coaching staff as an assistant coach prior to the 2012-13 season, the Buffaloes didn’t skip a beat. Billups continued CU’s excellence on the bench enjoying their finest seasons-to-date with a 21-win campaign in 2012-13, and 23 wins in 2013-14, the third-most victories in school history. The 92 victories are the most ever in any four-year span in school history; in addition, the four-straight seasons of post-season play and three-straight NCAA Tournament berths, are both school marks.
Last year, the Buffaloes capped another successful season, an NCAA Tournament berth. In addition, his assistance helped CU tie for a third place finish in the final conference standings, CU’s highest conference finish in 18 years.
In 2011-12 and 2012-13, Billups and the Buffs earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths for the first time in 50 years (1961-62 & 1962-63). The 2011-12 season saw the Buffaloes make their first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years, upsetting No. 6 UNLV in the second round and advancing to the third round. Prior to the NCAA Tourney, at the inaugural Pac-12 Conference tournament, the Buffs became just the 10th team in the nation to win at least four games in four days to capture the tournament title (a CU first since winning the Big 8 in 1968-69) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Over the last four seasons, Billups has helped coached a number of CU student-athletes to conference excellence.
In CU’s first year of the Pac-12, a trio were named all-conference as Andre Roberson (first team, All-Defensive, All-Tournament team), Carlon Brown (second team, tournament’s Most Outstanding Player), and Spencer Dinwiddie (freshman team).
In year two of the conference, Roberson (first team, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Defensive team); Dinwiddie (first team) and Josh Scott (All-Freshman team) earned post-season accolades. In the third year of the conference, Scott continued CU’s prominence among the elite Pac-12 Conference players being selected to the first team, while Askia Booker was an honorable mention selection, as to, Wesley Gordon to the honorable mention freshman team. Booker was also named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament team.
During his previous four years on the staff, Billups has also helped mentor four former CU student-athlete greats that have made the next step professionally in their basketball careers.
Alec Burks (No. 12 overall, Utah Jazz, 2011) and Andre Roberson (No. 26 Overall, Minnesota Timberwolves, 2013 traded to Oklahoma City) were both drafted in the NBA Draft first round; Spencer Dinwiddie was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 2014 NBA Draft (second round, No. 38 overall); and Cory Higgins, who played with the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2011-12 season. Burks also became CU’s second-ever lottery pick.
Billups is the younger brother of former CU great Chauncey Billups, who played with the Buffaloes from 1995-97. The younger Billups is a Colorado native graduating from George Washington High School in 2001. He later was a three-year standout with the University of Denver Pioneers from 2002-05.
“Rodney continues to bring a lot of value to our staff,” men’s basketball head coach Tad Boyle said. “Each year, he gets more and more comfortable in his recruiting role, and continues to develop into a fine, young coach.”
At DU, Billups averaged 10.2 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.2 rebounds during his 2004-05 senior season. In addition to leading the Sun Belt Conference in assists, he also ranked 17th nationally. He was named an All-SBC third team selection in 2004-05, the same season he helped the Pioneers win 20 games and a National Invitational Tournament berth.
Billups' 199 assists in his senior season, ranks third all-time in school history, while his 58 steals, ranks seventh. Over his three years at DU, Billups ranks fourth all-time in assists (418) and steals (154). For his career, he averaged 8.5 points per game, in addition to 4.6 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
In 2004-05, Billups was named co-recipient of the Floyd M. Theard Jr. Memorial Award. The award is presented each year to the DU men's basketball player who best displays the qualities of leadership, scholarship and sportsmanship.
Billups earned his business management degree from DU in 2005. After his collegiate days, he played professional basketball for ASK Riga in Latvia (2005-06), where he led the league in steals and assists. He also played one year in Finland (2006-07).