Rodney Terry is proving he deserves to be Texas’ head coach completely
College Football Writer
Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte is used to creating massive, daring choices.
While in the identical place at TCU, he jumped in his automotive at some point in the midst of convention realignment chaos to drive down and sit outdoors then-Longhorns AD Deloss Dodds’ workplace for a number of hours. The two finally went out for a meal wherein Del Conte satisfied Dodds that the Horned Frogs can be an ideal match for the Big 12 (an official invite adopted shortly afterward).
In one in every of his first massive acts upon taking up in Austin, Del Conte confirmed Tom Herman the door as soccer coach after a top-20 end and bowl win to finish the season, swiftly putting in Steve Sarkisian. Just a few months later, the athletic director was out entrance in serving to engineer UT’s stunning departure for the SEC.
In the wake of second-seeded Texas transferring previous No. 10 Penn State 71-66 on Saturday night, although, it could be time for Del Conte to make his boldest transfer but and at last – and formally – take that interim tag off head coach Rodney Terry’s title and make his tenure a everlasting one within the state capital.
“Texas is back where we need to be,” a jubilant however measured Terry instructed the printed afterward, attempting to talk loudly sufficient to beat the shouts of glee from each participant on the crew showering him with love.
It was an emotional second for all in burnt orange. Not simply the results of a gutsy battle again after dropping their eight-point halftime result in fend off the Nittany Lions late however as a result of it rightfully put the highlight on the coach who has been the gamers’ rock by means of a lot of those turbulent previous few months ever since former coach Chris Beard was fired following his arrest in early December in a home violence incident.
It was apt that it was Terry who was lastly entrance and heart for Texas’ second, celebrating the crew’s first Sweet 16 journey in 15 years. An Angleton native (outdoors Houston, the location of this 12 months’s Final Four) who performed faculty ball simply down the street from the Moody Center at Division II St. Edwards, he was one in every of Rick Barnes’ lead assistants the final time UT made it to the second weekend, incomes a fame as a terrific recruiter in bringing Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustin, Tristan Thompson and others to the 40 Acres.
“I’m used to Sweet 16s at Texas, to be honest with you,” stated Terry, who was additionally head coach at Fresno State and UTEP. “I’m not bragging, but when I was here before, we were in Sweet 16s quite a bit.”
Now in his second stint with this system throughout 11 years, Terry is lastly incomes consideration not only for who’s on the roster however how they’re enjoying on the court docket – pulling all the precise levers but once more as Texas received their sixth in a row.
Case in level got here with a timeout taken with 4:42 to go, breaking apart a 10-0 run by Penn State wherein they swarmed UT into 4 misses from the sector and a handful of turnovers.
But the break proved to be simply what the Longhorns wanted, leading to a direct layup that sparked a run to retake a lead they by no means gave up once more as Texas made all six of its photographs till the ultimate buzzer.
Perhaps the message from Terry within the huddle was a easy one: Get it to Dylan Disu.
The senior from simply up the street in Pflugerville (by means of Vanderbilt) was simply the most effective participant on the court docket, notching a program-record 14 made field-goals in an NCAA Tournament sport to surpass Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge and end with 28 factors and 10 rebounds.
The effort helped push Texas to a exceptional 8-0 beneath their interim head coach in video games determined by 5 factors or fewer – a stat made all of the extra noteworthy given the most recent got here in a sport the place it survived 11 straight misses from past the arc earlier than Sir’Jabari Rice lastly rattled residence Texas’ solely made 3-pointer of the evening with 8:32 left.
No matter what the varsity’s brass finally ends up deciding to do with Terry, the run he is gone on with the Longhorns would possibly nonetheless find yourself being one of many best-timed in latest reminiscence for anyone with aspirations of touchdown among the finest jobs within the nation. The crew beat Kansas twice in per week earlier than reducing down the nets within the Big 12 Tournament and can head proper again to Kansas City after two massive wins in chilly Des Moines coincided with additionally seeing bitter rival Texas A&M undergo an early exit from the Big Dance on Thursday.
UT will now advance to play both a Pitt squad that started its run within the First Four as one of many ultimate groups into the sector or the identical Xavier facet that wanted just a little luck to flee the upset bid mounted by Kennesaw State on Friday. Should Texas advance from there, a visit to the Final Four would come in opposition to both a banged-up Houston within the Elite Eight or both of equally flawed Miami and Indiana.
A manageable path to say the least, particularly for a gaggle with the expertise to make all of it the best way to basketball’s final prize not removed from the place Terry grew up.
If the Longhorns can find yourself making the journey down Highway 290 to NRG Stadium, Texas would possibly as effectively draw up the contract or threat a fan revolt.
In that case, Del Conte would fortunately make the tradeoff of a magical hoops run for what would have beforehand been labeled an unimaginative rent – a lot as it could ache the AD to not land an enormous fish after loads of hypothesis that high-profile candidates like Kentucky’s John Calipari had been amongst these on the administration’s shortlist.
After all, it does not scream daring to rent a coach whose profession document hovers simply above the .500 mark. But after what Terry has proved with a gritty group of gamers this March, it would simply be the precise factor to do for a Texas program that appears primed to maintain rolling and take the choice out of its palms.
Bryan Fischer is a university soccer author for FOX Sports. He has been masking faculty athletics for practically twenty years at retailers corresponding to NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NFL.com amongst others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.
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