Rodney Terry becomes UT’s men’s basketball second Black head coach in program’s history

Earlier this month, Sporting News named Rodney Terry Men’s College Basketball National Coach of the Year.

The University of Texas announced Monday that interim men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry is the new full-time head coach, Yahoo reports. 

The promotion comes after Terry, 55, took over the head coach position last December from Chris Beard who was suspended and ultimately fired following a domestic violence arrest. The charge was later dropped, according to multiple reports

Terry is now the men’s basketball program’s second Black head coach in its history. The first was Shaka Smart, who coached from 2015-2021, according to Big 12 Sports.

University of Texas
Head coach Rodney Terry of the Texas Longhorns calls out a play against the Xavier Musketeers during the first half in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 24, 2023 at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Sporting News named Terry Men’s College Basketball National Coach of the Year after he led the Longhorns to notable success this season, The Houston Chronicle reports. The Longhorns went 22-8 with Terry as head coach, according to Yahoo. The award is the first bestowed upon a UT coach since the honor was established in 1963-64.

Terry previously served as head coach at the University of Texas at El Paso and spent seven seasons as head coach at Fresno State. According to Yahoo, he worked as an assistant at Texas under Rick Barnes from 2002-2011. He also had assistant stints at Baylor and UNC Wilmington. As a Division I head coach, Terry has a record of 185-164.

“I’ve got a really good staff that has a lot of experience; two guys that have been head coaches — they really helped in that transition as well,” Terry said about becoming UT’s interim coach, according to Sporting News. 

After the Longhorns’ recent loss to Miami in the Elite Eight, Terry described how much the team means to him during an emotional conversation with reporters. “It was all about this team, man, and I enjoyed every single day of this journey with this group,” a tearful Terry said, according to a March 26 Yahoo report. “It was never about me. It was always about these guys. I love these guys.”

After UT confirmed Terry’s promotion this week, the Austin American-Statesman reported he will earn a little more than $3 million a season on a $15.3 million contract over five years.

Chris Ogden, a UT assistant coach who now works for Terry, told the American-Statesman that Terry “is one of the best human beings in the basketball world.”

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