Texas Basketball: Assistant Coach Profiles
Chris Beard brought along a set of highly touted assistant coaches when he came to the 40 Acres from Texas Tech, recruiting talented minds from across the country to join him as the new leader of the Longhorns. As I've given thorough breakdowns of what Beard brings to the table, it's important that we talk about what his staff can bring as well, specifically from a recruiting standpoint.
Associate Head Coach: Rodney Terry
Rodney Terry is a highly respected former head coach at Fresno State and Texas-El Paso (UTEP). A player for and 1990 graduate of Austin's private college St. Edward's, Terry spent time as an assistant head coach at his alma mater in 1991 before coaching in the high school ranks from 1991-96. He then took an assistant position at Baylor University from 1996-1998. From 1998-2002, he was an assistant an UNC-Wilmington prior to joining Rick Barnes' staff at Texas from 2002 to 2011.
An esteemed recruiter, Terry had a major hand in landing McDonald's All-Americans Kevin Durant, DJ Augustin, and Tristan Thompson for the Longhorns in the mid-to-late 2000s. He was on staff for the 2002-2003 Final Four appearance, led by Naismith winner PG TJ Ford. He was also present for Elite Eight runs in 2005-2006 and 2007-2008.
In 2011, he took the head coaching job at Fresno State, where he saw success, specifically in the 2015-2016 season, where he coached the Bulldogs to a 25-10 record in the Mountain West Conference. Winning the MWC tournament earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2018, Terry took the University of Texas at El Paso head coaching position, where he stayed until 2021, when he left to join Beard in Austin. In his second stint with the Longhorns, Terry looks to recreate the same success he had early on in his career. Look for Terry to end up as a head coach again at another program down the road, especially if Texas can again produce some of their mid-2000s magic.
Assistant Coach: Jerrance Howard
Jerrance Howard was most recently an assistant at Kansas with his former head coach Bill Self, under whom he played at the University of Illinois from 2000 to 2004. Howard had a decorated playing career, during which he was a member of three Big-10 regular-season championship teams. A team captain as a junior and senior, Howard was renowned for his leadership prowess, an attribute directly translatable to his role as an assistant coach.
After his playing days, he was an assistant at Texas A&M under Billy Gillespie from 2004-2007. He then became an assistant for his alma-mater Fighting Illini in 2007 under Bruce Weber, where he stayed until 2012, when Weber was fired. Howard left Urbana-Champaign to take a job under Larry Brown at SMU for one season before heading to Lawrence to assist his former head coach with the Jayhawks.
At KU, Howard was for eight years a part of an extremely successful program that saw six Big-12 regular-season championships, two Elite Eight and one Final Four appearance, 13 players drafted into the NBA, 33 all-Big-12 selections, and a 79.0% win percentage. Howard knows what success looks like at the college level, and looks to bring his experience to a program on the verge of becoming a massive winner.
Assistant Coach: Ulric Maligi
Ulric Maligi has been grinding his way through the college ranks in the state of Texas since 2006-2007, when he took a job at Texas-Arlington working for Scott Cross. He has also worked at Stephen F. Austin, University of Houston, SMU, Texas A&M, and most recently, Texas Tech with Chris Beard. The Athletic named Maligi as a "Top 40 Under 40" basketball coach, and he has been recognized as one of the best coaches in that age demographic in the country.
Maligi is a highly thought of recruiter, like Howard and Terry. He contributed to Texas Tech's best run of recruiting classes in school history, from 2018-2020. He has presided over 17 NBA players in his time as a coach across multiple schools. He helped sign five-star Emmanuel Mudiay (of NBA teams Nuggets, Knicks, and Jazz) to SMU, as well as Shake Milton (76ers) to the Mustangs and Robert Williams (Celtics) to Texas A&M.
He was also the national recruiting director under former number-one pick John Lucas in 2015-2016. John Lucas is the father of former Texas G and current Kentucky assistant Jai Lucas, so Maligi had ties to the university before ever landing in Austin.
Overall, Beard brings an undeniably elite class of coaches to the Longhorns this season. As hyped as people are on the new head coach, they should be equally as excited about this staff. This is not a group that is looking for success down the road, but success right now, this season. As Beard said in his last media availability, "You'll never hear me say 'we're gonna be good in two years.' That's not how it works."
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