Texas interim head coach Rodney Terry had the interim removed from his title this week, being named Texas’ new head basketball coach on Monday. His introductory press conference Tuesday featured an appearance by the Longhorns’ squad, and senior Brock Cunningham asked the final question of the day, asking Terry what the first thing he’ll do as the head basketball coach at Texas.
“Man Brock, that’s a loaded question right? First thing I’m gonna do is I really want to sit down with our team, we hadn’t had a chance to talk,” Terry said. “I kind of gave you guys a farewell deal that night and we talked about the season, but I hadn’t had the chance to talk to you guys these last two days being back.”
The Longhorns were eliminated in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday. And the days following that loss were likely a blur for Terry, handling all the business that comes with the process of being hired. The Longhorns may have fallen to Miami Sunday, but their appearance in the Elite 8 was their first since 2008, and they did so with Terry at the helm.
“We hadn’t had the chance to really sit down and visit about the year and tell you guys how much I appreciate you guys,” Terry said. “The way you stayed the course and worked this season, that’s the first thing I’d like to be able to do and express my gratitude for what you guys did this season.”
Terry took over the head coaching responsibilities eight games into the season following the dismissal of Chris Beard and never looked back. The Longhorns won 29 games this season and 22 of them were under Terry, who also helped lead the team to a Big 12 Tournament championship victory over Kansas.
Terry’s gratitude and appreciation for his team has been evident all season, but is even more clear following him addressing his first order of business. But his second order looks ahead to the future, as he’ll soon be working towards sustaining the foundation he built this season in Austin.
“And from there I’ll start working with some of our returners, you included coming back next season right,” Terry said to Cunningham. “So that will be the first order of business for myself along with sitting down and visiting with our staff.”