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Cody Hatt promoted to Texas assistant coach

Hatt got his start with Shaka Smart as a graduate assistant at VCU six years ago.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart promoted 34-year-old Director of Men’s Basketball Operations Cody Hatt to his first role as an assistant coach, the school announced on Wednesday.

In the works for several weeks following the departure of Jai Lucas to Kentucky to become the recruiting coordinator for John Calipari, Hatt emerged as the favorite to earn the promotion.

“Our whole program is excited about Cody assuming the role of full-time assistant coach,” Smart said. “He’s been a tireless worker over the past six years who’s brought tremendous energy and built a terrific rapport with our players and staff.”

Hatt spent the last four seasons directing operations for Smart after serving as a special assistant during Smart’s first year on the Forty Acres. In recent years, Hatt received what amounted to trial opportunities as an assistant, hitting the road in 2018 and 2019 to help recruit when there were openings on the staff created by departing assistants, in addition to assisting in on-court workouts. Hatt served in the same role this summer after former associate head coach Luke Yaklich left to become the head coach at Illinois-Chicago.

In his role as Director of Men’s Basketball Operations, Hatt was in charge of on-campus recruiting efforts and the administrative and logistical sides of the program from day to day. Hatt also helped Smart over the last two years with the non-conference schedule.

“I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity,” Hatt said. “Coach Smart has always emphasized the importance of building meaningful relationships with our players, within the school community and in recruiting. I look forward to continuing to do everything possible to help this program build towards championship-level success.”

Hatt first worked with Smart at VCU, joining the program in 2014-15 after serving as an assistant and then head coach at Vermont Academy. The Vermont native was a four-year starter and captain at Springfield High School, twice earning recognition as an all-state performer.