The Texas Longhorns have fired Rick Barnes after 17 seasons as the men’s basketball coach.
In a move that was expected, the Texas Longhorns have fired veteran head coach Rick Barnes after 17 seasons as the men’s head basketball coach.
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Reports circulated earlier in the week that Barnes was being pressured into making changes to his assistant coaching staff by Texas athletic director Steve Patterson and his unwillingness to make those changes has led to his termination on Saturday.
Barnes took the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament in 16 of his 17 seasons on the 40 Acres and leaves as the program’s all-time leader in wins with a record of 402-180.
His tenure can be divided into the first 10 years when he made five trips to the Sweet Sixteen, two trips to the Elite Eight and one Final Four appearance in 2003. Texas also won the Big 12 title three times in that span.
However, the last seven years of his tenure failed to match the success he had in the first decade on the bench.
Barnes has made early exits in the NCAA Tournament with zero appearances in the Sweet Sixteen in the last seven years and barely made the Big Dance this season after a 9-11 record in the Big 12 and were bounced in the second round as a No. 11 seed after losing to Butler.
He signed a two-year extension in August and since he was fired before April 1 will receiver $1.75 million per the terms of his buyout.
Granted, he did have a great deal of success at a football school and he won more games than any other basketball coach in the program’s history, but his progress plateaued and was now in a state of regression.
A change was necessary in Austin despite Barnes’ long track record of success, but getting to the Tournament and losing in the first weekend is not enough.
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