There are a lot of things Rodney Terry should be proud of. He took over a Texas program that was on the verge of exploding before Chris Beard was fired. Not only was he able to keep the ship sailing but Terry nearly met the preseason expectations by winning the Big 12 Tournament and making the Elite Eight. Just minutes away from a Final Four, Terry was eventually hired as the full-time head coach.
Even so, when asked the thing he is most proud of, Terry did not mention any of the on-the-court accomplishments. He talked about just working with the team on a daily basis and enjoying the run they went on. Terry is huge on relationships and was close with every player on the 2022-2023 team.
“The thing that has made me the most proud of myself has been how I work with these guys,” Terry said. “I truly stayed to my word of enjoying every day with those guys. Just my relationships I have with these guys. Every single day — just laughing, smiling, holding them accountable when we need to hold them accountable. Having tough conversations when we need to have tough conversations. But also, having relationships. It’s about having relationships.”
Even before the season ended, Texas players were going to bat for Terry. They publicly advocated for him to get the full-time head coach job. Athletic director Chris Del Conte agreed but just waited for the NCAA Tournament to come to a close.
This year was special and in the moment, Terry knew it. He has been a head coach at other places but has not taken full advantage of the opportunity. Pressure is there to win. While Texas will expect continued success, he now has a perspective on how he wants to run a program.
“I truly gave myself an opportunity to do that with this team,” Terry said. “I can’t say I did that with all of the teams I’ve had to coach as a head coach because you’re just so driven and you’re so in the moment and you don’t take time to do that. I did that with this team. I’m just blessed I had the chance to do that.”
Terry will begin his first full season in Austin this upcoming fall. While the roster is still a work in progress, there will be plenty of support from him throughout the program. Relationships will continue to be key and hopefully, the wins continue as well.
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