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.
“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.”
Our guy is our guy. 🤘— Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) March 27, 2023
The 26th Head Coach of the Texas Longhorns is @RodneyTerry. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/iLlGWvSpt9
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.”
"I don't understand why he doesn't have the coaching job yet, that's something you can put in your article"— Jeff Jones (@JeffJonesSports) March 27, 2023
Rodney Terry says he hasn't taken time to think about what the future holds, but his players know what they want for the future of Texas--RT as the Head Coach.#HookEm pic.twitter.com/MbnO40tqqP
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.”
“I’m gonna love them for the rest of their lives.” 🥺— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 27, 2023
Rodney Terry gets emotional reflecting on how much this @TexasMBB team means to him ❤️ #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/0e3XkCYrkp
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.