EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After three seasons as head men’s basketball coach at UTEP, Rodney Terry is leaving his post to become an assistant coach at Texas under new Longhorns head coach Chris Beard. Sources confirmed the news to KTSM on Tuesday morning after it was first reported by Horns247.
Terry himself took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to announce his departure for the Longhorns.
“After a significant amount of deliberation over the past few day, I’ve decided to step down as the Head Coach of Men’s Miner Basketball,” Terry wrote. “Ultimately, the University of Texas Austin, Chris Beard and the opportunity to return home were the impetus behind this decision.”
Terry continued, “I’d like to thank UTEP Athletic Director Jim Senter and the entire athletic department for their commitment and support over the last three seasons. I’d also like to thank President Heather Wilson and former President Diana Natalicio for the leadership and guidance they provided my staff and I. I am proud of the young men we recruited and played during my time at UTEP. The Men’s Miner Basketball program is set to build on the foundation and fan-rich basketball tradition that’s long been established in El Paso.”
UTEP director of athletics Jim Senter also released a statement saying the Miners will immediately begin a national search for Terry’s successor.
“We would like to thank Coach Terry and his staff for the work they have put in to build our program over the last three years. We wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Senter. “We will begin a national search for our next basketball coach. Plans to utilize a search firm have not been determined. In order to preserve the integrity of the search, we will not be making any additional comments until we have hired a new coach. We look forward to beginning a new chapter in our basketball program’s storied legacy.”
According to sources, Beard was absolutely relentless in his pursuit of Terry after getting hired as the Longhorns’ head coach on April 1. The discussions were ongoing over the Easter weekend and Terry finally agreed to join Beard in Austin on Tuesday. The offer to join Texas ended up being too good for Terry to pass up, sources said.
Longtime friends in the coaching game, Beard and Terry will be joined on the UT staff by former UT-Arlington head coach Chris Ogden, and former Texas Tech assistant Ulric Maligi. This will be Terry’s second stint as an assistant at Texas. His first came from 2002-2011 before leaving to take the head coaching job at Fresno State. Terry, along with Beard and Ogden, all served as Longhorn assistants under Rick Barnes before going their separate ways.
The move comes months after Terry received a one-year contract extension from UTEP that would’ve kept him in El Paso through 2024, paying him $725,000 per season, plus incentives (Terry made $530,999 in 2020-21 after taking a one-year pay cut due to pandemic budget cuts). Per the contract, Texas will have to pay a $500,000 lump sum buyout to UTEP within the next 30 days.
Details of Terry’s new contract as an assistant at Texas have not yet been announced, but it has been widely speculated that the Longhorns will be able to match, or exceed his UTEP salary.
Despite his success recruiting players like Bryson Williams, Souley Boum, Keonte Kennedy, and Jamal Bieniemy to UTEP, Terry struggled to find consistent success on the floor. The Miners went 37-48 (19-33) in his tenure, including a 12-12 (8-8) mark in 2020-21.
UTEP will now turn its attention to hiring Terry’s replacement. Abilene Christian head coach Joe Golding could be a prime candidate for UTEP director of athletics Jim Senter, a source told KTSM. Golding led ACU to a Southland Conference championship in 2021 and a first round upset of Texas in the NCAA Tournament.
KTSM has also confirmed through sources that UTEP reached out to New Mexico State for permission to interview head coach Chris Jans about his interest in the position. It is unclear if Jans would entertain an offer from UTEP.
Other possible candidates could include Baylor assistant coach Jerome Tang, South Alabama head coach Richie Riley, and Cal Baptist head coach Rick Croy.
UTEP fans on social media have been clamoring for former UTEP players Tim Hardaway and Greg Foster to get a look, but that remains to be seen. Hardaway told 600 ESPN El Paso earlier this year that he would love the chance to coach at UTEP, but he has never coached the college game. Foster is currently an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, but was an assistant coach at UTEP a few years ago under Tim Floyd. Foster was reportedly interviewed for the UTEP job the last time it was open in 2018, when the Miners ultimately hired Terry.
This is a developing story and details will be added to this line as they become available. Tune-in to KTSM 9 News at noon, 5, 6, and 10 p.m. for the very latest.