Four months to the day after Texas Longhorns assistant coach Ulric Maligi was announced as a member of Kansas State Wildcats head coach Jerome Tang’s staff, Texas confirmed the addition of UNLV Runnin’ Rebels assistant Brandon Chappell as Maligi’s replacement on Monday.
After a long and quiet search by Longhorns head coach Chris Beard, Chappell’s name emerged in connection with Texas late last week.
A Lamar University product who hails from Beaumont, Chappell was a two-time captain and a sharpshooter for the Cardinals who played high school basketball at Ozen with Kendrick Perkins. After graduating from Lamar, Chappell played professionally overseas for five years before starting his coaching career after two years working for Nike Basketball Camps.
“Watching Brandon go through this journey, it means everything to me,” said Perkins, a 14-year NBA veteran who now works for ESPN and has known Chappell since childhood. “I can still remember sitting on the back porch many years ago with Brandon, and we shared a conversation about what path we each wanted to take. To see him continue to advance in the coaching profession, I’m very proud. He’s a guy who is extremely driven and wants to be the best at what he does. Brandon loves to get in the trenches with players, and he never allows the guys he works with to be satisfied. He always wants more for his players, and that’s what you want from a coach.”
Chappell started his coaching career with a year at Armstrong State as an assistant, two years at Northern Arizona as a graduate assistant, and a year at Arkansas-Fort Smith as an assistant before returning to Lamar from 2017 to 2021. A decade-long relationship with UNLV head coach Kevin Kruger contributed to Chappell’s hire there last year, where he helped mold a roster of nine transfers, including two from Texas — forward Royce Hamm Jr., who earned honorable mention All-Mountain West recognition, and guard Donovan Williams, who was named the conference’s Sixth Man of the Year.
In addition to coaching two former Longhorns, Chappell previously helped train former Texas standout J’Covan Brown, who is now playing in Israel.
“My relationship with Brandon goes back to when I was seven or eight years old in Port Arthur, and he has always been my big brother,” said Brown. “He trained me when I was younger, and I’ve continued to work with Brandon throughout my pro career when I’ve come back home. Brandon is unique because he really understands people and he’s all about getting players out of the mud in their development. He pushes you to be better than you think you can be, both in basketball and life. Players respond to him in the gym, and I’m so happy to see him earn this opportunity to join our Longhorn family.”