On Monday morning, Texas Longhorns interim head coach Rodney Terry was on the verge of officially taking over the program — according to a report from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the school is finalizing a deal with Terry to officially replace Chris Beard, who was fired in January following his December arrest for felony domestic violence, a charge that was later dropped.
By Monday afternoon, Texas and Terry reportedly agreed to a five-year deal worth approximately $3 million annually, two years shorter and about $2 million less per year than the Horns were paying Beard. By Monday evening, the school officially announced Terry as its 26th head coach.
Texas will formally introduce Terry as the head coach at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
The administration is moving quickly to retain Terry after the season ended for Texas in the Elite Eight on Sunday with an 88-81 loss to No. 5-seed Miami, a disappointing loss after the Longhorns led by as many as 13 points in the second half, but nonetheless the culmination of the program’s most successful season since 2008, which also included a second-place finish in the Big 12 during the regular season and a Big 12 Tournament title. Horns247 broke the news Sunday evening that Texas would offer Terry the job.
Of the 29 wins by the Longhorns, the third-most in school history, Terry coached Texas to 22 of them since taking over on Dec. 12. Throughout that run, Terry resolutely refused to comment about his interest in the job, including on Sunday when he was asked how badly he wants to keep the job.
“I haven’t really had a lot of time to give a lot of thought to that, to be honest — I’ve been so wrapped up and invested in my team. Again, I love these guys. Not only will I just love these guys for the time I got to coach them, I’ll love them for the rest of their lives. I’ll be at their weddings. I’ll be talking to those guys when they have their first born,” Terry said.
“It was all about this team, man, and I enjoyed every single day of this journey with this group. I’m going to really miss working with this group. It was never about me. It was always about these guys. I love these guys.”
Terry’s players, however, made it clear on multiple occasions how they felt about their interim head coach.
“I don’t understand why he doesn’t have the coaching job yet, that’s something you can put in your article,” guard Sir’Jabari Rice said after Sunday’s loss.
After the win over No. 10-seed Penn State last week, forward Timmy Allen was more philosophical.
“I think he embodies what we are and what we try to be every day, so somebody who’s been there before, somebody who never shakes at adversity, somebody who wakes up and tries to attack the day to be great and I think I’ve got somebody like that in my corner, I’ll do anything for him,” Allen said.
An Angleton native who played basketball at St. Edward’s University in Austin before entering coaching in 1990, Terry spent nine seasons as an assistant under Rick Barnes in Austin during the golden era of Texas basketball that included a trip to the Final Four, three Elite Eights, and five Sweet 16s before taking over as the head coach at Fresno State in 2011. Over seven seasons with the Bulldogs, Terry made one NCAA Tournament appearance before returning to the Lone Star State in 2018 as the UTEP head coach. In nine seasons as a head coach, Terry compiled a 163-156 (.511) record before joining Beard’s staff in 2021 as associate head coach.