Nicholls State's Richie Riley hired as South Alabama's head coach

MOBILE, Ala. -- South Alabama has hired Richie Riley its new head basketball coach.

Athletic director Dr. Joel Erdmann announced the hiring on Thursday. Riley replaces Matthew Graves, whose contract was not renewed after his fifth straight losing season.

Last season, Riley led Nicholls State to its first regular-season Southland Conference championship since 1998.

Riley, 35, is a former assistant at Clemson and UAB. He went 35-28 in the past two seasons at Nicholls and led the Colonels to a co-championship with a 15-3 league record this past season.

The 21-11 record marked the program's first winning season since the 2008-09 season. Nicholls led the conference in scoring and ranks among the top five nationally in steals and turnovers forced.