Rodney Terry’s wait has finally ended. And on his birthday, no less.
The erstwhile “interim” head coach of the Texas Longhorns’ men’s basketball team has officially been tabbed to run the program just one day after his club was eliminated from the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. He’s set to sign a five-year contract worth $3 million per season and will be formally introduced at a press conference on Tuesday, March 28.
Terry began the season as an assistant under then head coach Chris Beard before the latter was suspended by the university after being arrested for assault of his fiancée back in December 2022. Once the Angleton native ascended to the helm, he provided a steadying presence in guiding a talented team to a 16-7 record over the remainder of the regular season en route to a second-place finish in the Big 12, with all but two of the losses coming against top-25 opponents.
During that stretch, many began to wonder when he would be officially promoted to head coach, and the outcry only grew as The Sporting News named Terry its “Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year” on March 8 before the Longhorns proceeded to run the table in the conference tournament. The Horns’ deepest March Madness run in 15 years only solidified the Terry’s hold on the job. While Texas’ athletic director Chris Del Conte has a policy of not negotiating coaching contracts during the season, he wasted no time in removing the “interim” tag from Terry’s title once the season concluded.
The 55-year-old has spent much of his life in Austin. He played his college ball at St. Edward’s University before beginning his coaching career as an assistant there in 1990. He would serve as the head coach at James Bowie High School for the following three years. The coaching carousel would land him at several other stops before bringing him back to UT Austin as an assistant to Rick Barnes from 2002 to 2011. Terry departed to head up the Fresno State and UTEP programs over the next decade before returning to UT Austin as an assistant in 2021.
This time, he’s looking to stay a while.