Rachi Wortham is entering his third season as an assistant coach at the University of Montana in 2018-19. He was hired by head coach Travis DeCuire in July 2016.
Rachi (pronounced: rah-shee) ended up at Montana after spending two seasons at Oregon State (2014-15 through 2015-16), working under former Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle. No stranger to the Big Sky Conference, Wortham served as an assistant coach at Eastern Washington from 2007-2011 under Kirk Earlywine. Wortham is also an EWU alumnus, where he was a standout guard from 2003-05 and was part of the Eagles’ first trip to the NCAA tournament in 2004.
Montana's 2017-18 season was historic on many levels, with Montana posting 26 victories (third in program history), winning both the Big Sky Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and advancing to the NCAA tournament. The 26-8 record included a 14-0 mark on their home court. In late December, Montana closed its non-conference slate with a winning record for the first time in six seasons – featuring a signature victory at Pitt – before beginning Big Sky play 13-0. The 13-game winning streak was the third-longest in school history, in addition to the third-longest active streak in the NCAA at the time. The stretch also featured a program-record seven consecutive road victories.
During Rachi's first season in Missoula, the Griz went 16-16 and earned a first-round bye in the Big Sky Conference tournament, despite having 10 underclassmen and just two seniors who saw significant time. He helped develop a pair of UM sophomores – both returning in 2017-18 – to All-Big Sky Conference recognition.
In addition to his leadership on the court, Wortham’s duties for the Grizzlies also include academic advising, player mentoring, recruiting and community outreach. In 2016-17, the Grizzlies posted a team grade-point average above 3.0, earning NABC Team Academic Excellence recognition, with two players being named to the NABC Honors Court.
Wortham and DeCuire’s relationship dates back to the mid-1990s when he played AAU basketball under DeCuire at the age of 15 in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.
In addition to coaching at the collegiate level, Wortham has used basketball as a means of outreach and leadership development for organizations such as TEAM ACCESS, the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, the Boys & Girls Club, the Isaiah Thomas Basketball Camp and Lids Team Sports-Nike Team.
Wortham is a 2000 graduate of Foss High School in Tacoma, Wash., where he helped lead his team to a 25-4 record and the 2000 Washington 4A state championship.
After high school, he followed family ties to the University of Alabama on an academic scholarship for one year (2000-01) before returning to the Pacific Northwest to play basketball at Tacoma Community College. Wortham played at TCC for two seasons (2001-02 through (2002-03), again he help lead the Titans to a 58-8 record and a first-place finish at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) tournament. He was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 2013.
At TCC, Wortham earned an associate of arts degree in general studies in 2003 before transferring to Eastern Washington University, where he graduated in 2006 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies and helped the Eagles to the 2004 Big Sky Conference regular-season and tournament titles. He also worked on a master’s degree from EWU in 2008 in science sports administration.
Rachi and his beautiful wife, Lisa, have one amazing son, Joaquin.
As you can see by what's stated above, Rachi was a true student athlete who used basketball as a tool to help reach some of his lifetime goal.