Former American Southwest Conference “Coach of the Year” Rusty Rainbolt enters his second season as the head coach at East Texas Baptist University for the women’s basketball program. In his first season as the head coach, Rainbolt led the women's team to their first ever ASC Championship and an appearance in the Elite Eight before falling to #2 Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. Rainbolt is no stranger to the ASC as he has coached at Concordia University-Texas and McMurry University. He is coming back to the NCAA Division III level after spending the last two years in his hometown of Sweetwater, Texas, as the Girls Athletic Coordinator and Head Girls Basketball Coach.
Rainbolt worked his way up into the college ranks after a successful three years as an assistant coach at Trinity Christian High School. In 2005 and 2006, Trinity Christian HS won the 4-A TAPPS State Championship. He then spent a year at Hardin-Simmons University earning a master’s degree and then a year at Wayland Baptist University as the recruiting coordinator. From there he went onto McMurry as an assistant.
In his two stops at as a head coach, he has restructured the academic and recruiting settings. None of the teams he coached had less than a 3.2 grade point average. At Concordia-Texas, he had 18 players named to the ASC All-Academic team. In five years, he had eight All-Conference players, two conference newcomers of the year, and one conference player of the year and defensive player of the year.
As an assistant coach for three years in his career, he recruited four players for three different programs that earned numerous awards. Those awards include ASC Newcomer of the Year, SAC Newcomer of the Year, SAC Defensive Player of the Year, NAIA All-American, and an ASC West MVP.
Rainbolt is married to his wife, Audra, and they have three daughters, Bailey (9), Summer (7) and Rhilee (3).
Caleb Henson enters his second year at East Texas Baptist University as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team under Rusty Rainbolt. Henson is a former American Southwest Conference women’s head coach after spending last season at the helm as head coach at Sul Ross State University.
ETBU head women’s basketball coach Rusty Rainbolt says, “Coach Henson and his family are perfect additions for the ETBU Family. He is, first and foremost, a man that loves our Lord and loves his family. Coach Henson has also been very successful as a basketball coach. His experience is second to none. Along with getting him to join our staff, we are so excited to have his beautiful wife, Whitney, and precious daughter Blakely become a part of the ETBU family. His family will be such an amazing resource for the young ladies that will make up our team. We are very excited to see what the three of them will bring to the ETBU Family.”
Prior to his stint at SRSU, Henson coached at Lubbock Christian University for seven years as an assistant coach, where he helped guide the Chaps to No. 1 in the NAIA rankings for much of the 2012-13 season. The following season, LCU finished with a 25-1 record, including a 20-0 Heartland Conference record and in 2014-15, the Chaps finished as co-champions of the Heartland Conference and ranked fifth in the nation. The Lady Chap finished the 2015-2016 season as National Champions, with an undefeated 35-0 record, in their first season as full, active members of the NCAA Division II.
Henson began his coaching career at South Plains College and while there, he led the team to the Top 10 in the National Polls and the WJCAC Regional Tournament. Prior to his coaching career, he attended Howard Payne University, South Plains College, and Texas Tech University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science with a minor in English. At HPU, he was on the basketball team as a player and a manager and while at South Plains College, he served as a manager for the Lady Texans team that finished #1 in the nation. He then went to Texas Tech working with Head Coach Kristy Curry and the Lady Red Raider staff. In those two seasons, the Lady Red Raiders advanced to the National Invitation Tournament.
He and his wife, Whitney, have two children, Blakely and Hampton.
Assistant Coach/Head Developmental Coach
Entering his first year at East Texas Baptist University on the women's basketball staff as an assistant coach is Justin Juniel. He was the final addition to the new staff in August 2017 under Rusty Rainbolt and will be in charge of the developmental program.
Juniel was previously at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, Ark., where he served as the assistant coach for the women's basketball team for the 2016-17 season. Before heading to Arkansas Baptist, he served as the assistant coach for Baton Rouge Community College in 2015-16. In that season he was able to help the team to a winning record in the regular season and earn a trip to the region 23 semi-finals.
His first job in collegiate basketball came with his alma mater as an assistant coach at Southern Arkansas University from 2013 to 2015. While at Southern Arkansas, Juniel received his bachelor's degree in fine arts and later a master's degree in Kinesiology. Juniel also received his associate degree in African American Leadership from Arkansas Baptist University.
Juniel's primary responsibilities at ETBU will be reviewing and analyzing game film, addressing areas of weakness and developing action plans while implementing coaching methods to inspire the team during the season. He will also be the head coach for the developmental team.