Ric Best is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, receiving both a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Instrumental Music Education, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. He has served as president of the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, president of the Tennessee Secondary School Band Director's Association, president of Phi Beta Mu Honorary Bandmasters Fraternity, and has been a member of the Tennessee Music Educator's Association Board of Directors for 17 years in addition to serving other elected positions in regional and state associations.

His teaching experiences include a variety of responsibilities during 33 years with public schools and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Ric spent most of his teaching tenure at Lenoir City High School where he served as Director of Bands, Director of Choral Activities, Supervisor of Music, and as a management representative for the Board of Education. During his tenure, the Lenoir City High School program was recognized nationally for excellence in jazz, marching, and concert activities. The concert band received Superior ratings at the state concert festival in the most difficult Grade VI Music division for 22 years. In August 2008, he was named into the Lenoir City School Hall of Fame. In addition to guest conducting, consulting, and adjudication responsibilities, Ric is also a national supervisor for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).