NCAA women's tournament • Analysis
What comes next for Caitlin Clark is the hardest part
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Rodney Terry hired as permanent head coach at Texas

After taking over a program in turmoil, Rodney Terry went 22-8 with the Longhorns and helped them reach the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
3 min

University of Texas men’s basketball players got what they made very clear they wanted: The hiring of Rodney Terry as the permanent head coach of the Longhorns.

Terry, who stepped in on an acting basis in December and guided Texas to a Big 12 tournament championship and an NCAA tournament run to the Elite Eight, agreed to a five-year contract, according to multiple reports. The school announced the move Monday night with five simple words.

“Our guy is our guy,” it said in announcing that Terry had become the 26th men’s basketball coach in school history. Jay Hartzell, the school’s president, chimed in, tweeting: “The winning tradition of The University of Texas will not be entrusted to the weak or the timid! Excited to have you lead the Longhorns.”

As many of them had done earlier in the tournament, Texas players advocated for Terry to get the full-time job immediately following the Longhorns’ loss Sunday to Miami.

“He’s our head coach,” freshman forward Dillon Mitchell told reporters. “No matter what his title is, he’s our head coach forever. He forever will be our head coach.” Sir’Jabari Rice added, “I don’t understand why he doesn’t have the coaching job yet.”

As was the case regarding some of his players, Terry was emotional in his postgame comments Sunday.

“I love these guys,” the 55-year-old coach said of the Longhorns. “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 firstborn. It was all about this team, man, and I enjoyed every single day of this journey with this group.

Growing tearful, Terry added: “I’m going to really miss — I’m going to really miss working with this group. It was never about me. It was always about these guys.”

Terry, a Longhorns assistant coach from 2002 to 2011, returned to Texas’s staff in 2021 and was named acting head coach in December when the program parted ways with Chris Beard. The Longhorns’ head coach since 2021, Beard was suspended in December following his arrest on a felony domestic assault charge and was fired in January, at which point Terry was named interim coach. Earlier this month, after the charge was dropped by a Texas district attorney, Beard was hired by the University of Mississippi.

Amid the turmoil, Terry helped lead Texas to a 22-8 record after his promotion and an overall mark of 29-9. The Longhorns reached an NCAA tournament region final for the first time since 2008 and came agonizingly close to making the Final Four for the first time since 2003, when Terry was an assistant to then-coach Rick Barnes.

Before returning to Texas, Terry was the head coach at Fresno State for seven years, going 126-108 with a Mountain West Conference tournament title, and at Texas El Paso for another three, notching a record of 37-48 after starting with an 8-21 campaign. He is a native of Angleton, Tex.