Texas hires Rodney Terry as full-time men's basketball coach on five-year, $15.3M contract

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After a month of speculation that seemed to heighten in intensity with each NCAA Tournament victory, the University of Texas finally removed the interim label from men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry's title.

Terry, 55, reached an agreement Monday with UT on a five-year, $15.3 million contract, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The deal came the day after the Longhorns' 88-81 loss to Miami in the program's first NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance since 2008.

The backdrop of Texas’ success under Terry mattered as much as the wins. Terry, an assistant under then-head coach Chris Beard, took over the program as its acting coach after Beard was arrested on a felony charge of assaulting a family member Dec. 12. Terry became the interim head coach when UT fired Beard on Jan. 5.

Texas forward Dillon Mitchell embraces interim head coach Rodney Terry during the playing of "The Eyes of Texas" after the Longhorns' win over TCU in January at Moody Center. Terry, who took charge after Texas fired Chris Beard, has agreed to a five-year deal to be UT's permanent coach.
Texas forward Dillon Mitchell embraces interim head coach Rodney Terry during the playing of "The Eyes of Texas" after the Longhorns' win over TCU in January at Moody Center. Terry, who took charge after Texas fired Chris Beard, has agreed to a five-year deal to be UT's permanent coach.

Charges against Beard were dropped in February, and he was hired as the head coach at the University of Mississippi this month.

How does Rodney Terry's contract compare to Chris Beard's?

Terry’s salary is a significant raise from his current rate. He technically doubled his salary from $600,000 to $1.2 million when he was promoted Dec. 12, but his new financial package paid the prorated monthly equivalent of that larger amount, according to information obtained via an open records request by the Statesman.

Beard made $5.26 million a year in his final full season, which ranked fifth in the nation, according to a USA Today examination of coaches’ salaries after the 2021-22 season.

More:Golden: His players have spoken, and they want Rodney Terry to be Texas' next head coach

Throughout the season, the players credited Terry for serving as a stabilizing force despite all the off-the-court distractions that resulted from Beard’s arrest and his eventual firing.

Rodney Terry has been running the UT men's basketball program since Dec. 12, the day Chris Beard was suspended. Terry agreed to a five-year deal the day after the Longhorns bowed out of the NCAA Tournament with a loss to Miami in the Elite Eight.
Rodney Terry has been running the UT men's basketball program since Dec. 12, the day Chris Beard was suspended. Terry agreed to a five-year deal the day after the Longhorns bowed out of the NCAA Tournament with a loss to Miami in the Elite Eight.

Terry took Longhorns on deepest NCAA Tournament run in 15 years

“He's a great dude,” senior Jabari Rice told the media before the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16. "He’s a great guy, a hard worker. He just caters to us like he tries to make things easier for us to try to give us rest when needed and just takes care of things that we need to be taken care of. And he's just a guy to let you know every day is a blessing to be here.”

Chris Ogden, a UT assistant coach who served on Rick Barnes’ staff in the 2000s and now works for Terry, told the Statesman that Terry “is one of the best human beings in the basketball world.”

For his part, Terry deflected the ever-increasing questions about his job status as the season wore on. After the Longhorns’ loss to Miami in the Elite Eight on Sunday, Terry said his focus had stayed on his team’s quest for its first Final Four appearance since 2003 throughout the season.

“We’ve really just been trying to put these guys in the best position to get to (the Final Four), so I haven’t given any thought to all that while trying to keep these guys locked in on the task at hand,” Terry said. “Our administration has been very supportive, and I think there will be an opportunity here soon to talk and see where everything is.”

More:Golden: Rodney Terry did enough to be the permanent Texas head coach

Who is Rodney Terry, where did he coach before?

Terry, who had previously served as head coach at Fresno State and Texas-El Paso, finished this season with a 22-8 record for the 29-9 Longhorns. During his 11 seasons as a head coach, Terry has a 185-164 record.

A native of Angleton, on the coastal plains south of Houston, Terry has deep roots in Austin as well as the state. He played basketball at St. Edward’s University in South Austin before beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Austin’s Bowie High School under legendary coach Celester Collier.

After three seasons as a head coach at the high school level in Somerville and Angleton, Terry made the move up to the college ranks as an assistant at Baylor. He then spent two seasons as an assistant coach at North Carolina-Wilmington before returning to Austin as an assistant at Texas under Barnes.

More:Source: Penn State, Cal are also interested in Texas interim coach Rodney Terry

Terry spent eight seasons alongside Barnes from 2002 to 2011, a golden age for the program that included stars such as T.J. Ford, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tristan Thompson, D.J. Augustine and Kevin Durant as well as a Final Four berth and multiple appearances in the Elite Eight.

After his successful stint as Barnes’ lead assistant, Terry took his first head coaching job at Fresno State. He finished his eight-year tenure there with a 126-108 record, including consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins in his final three years. Terry then returned to the state as the head coach at UTEP, where he compiled a 37-48 record in three seasons.

Terry returned to Texas when Beard took over the program before the 2021-22 season.

He is the 26th head coach in UT men's basketball history and just the fifth in the past 35 years.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Texas hires Rodney Terry as men's basketball coach on $15.3M contract