Rick Barnes, Texas Mutually Agree to Part Ways

(image via Denny Medley-USA Today Sports)
(image via Denny Medley-USA Today Sports)

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas and head basketball coach Rick Barnes have mutually agreed to part ways, the school announced today. The all-time winningest coach in program history, the 60-year-old Barnes compiled an overall record of 402-180 (.691) over the last 17 seasons at Texas, an average of nearly 24 victories per year. A national search for Barnes’ replacement will begin immediately.

A four-time Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year (1999, 2003, 2008 and 2014) and five-time National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 9 Coach of the Year (1999, 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2014), Barnes elevated the Texas program to a consistent level of national prominence never before seen at the Forty Acres. In his 17 years at UT, he led the Longhorns to 16 NCAA Tournament appearances (streak of 14 consecutive from 1999-2012), including five trips to the NCAA “Sweet 16,” three to the “Elite Eight” and one to the Final Four (2003). The appearance at the 2003 Final Four marked the third time in school history and first since 1947 (span of 56 years) that UT had advanced to the Final Four.

Texas claimed three Big 12 Conference titles in the Barnes era (1999, 2006 and 2008). The Longhorns set a school record by recording 13 straight 20-win seasons from 1999-2000 through 2011-12. UT reached the 20-win mark a total of 15 times in 17 seasons under Barnes.

Texas climbed to the top of both major national polls (Associated Press, USA Today Coaches) on Jan. 11, 2010, marking the first time in program history that the Longhorns had been the top-ranked team in the nation in either major poll. Texas held the top spot in both polls for a two-week stretch. During the Barnes era, the Horns spent a total of 193 weeks in The AP Top 25 poll, including 92 in the Top 10. UT also finished the season ranked in the Top 25 of the final AP poll a total of eight times under Barnes (No. 15 in 1999-2000, No. 18 in 2000-01, No. 5 in 2002-03, No. 12 in 2003-04, No. 9 in 2005-06, No. 11 in 2006-07, No. 7 in 2007-08 and No. 8 in 2010-11), and the Longhorns were in the Top 25 of the final USA Today Coaches poll a total of nine times (No. 21 in 1999-2000, tied for No. 18 in 2001-02, No. 3 in 2002-03, No. 10 in 2003-04, No. 9 in 2005-06, No. 16 in 2006-07, No. 5 in 2007-08, No. 23 in 2008-09 and No. 16 in 2010-11).

Barnes reached a pair of significant milestones during the 2014-15 season. With the home overtime victory against No. 14/16 Baylor on March 2, he became the ninth active NCAA Division I men’s basketball coach to reach the 400-win milestone at his current school (joining Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Mike Krzyzewski, Duke; Greg Kampe, Oakland; Bob McKillop, Davidson; Tom Izzo, Michigan State; Billy Donovan, Florida; Mark Few, Gonzaga and Stew Morrill, Utah State). With UT’s home win against TCU on Feb. 11, Barnes earned his 600th career collegiate win. He became just the 13th active NCAA Division I men’s basketball coach to reach the 600-win milestone (joining Mike Krzyzewski, Duke; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Bob Huggins, West Virginia; Roy Williams, North Carolina; Bo Ryan, Wisconsin; Rick Pitino, Louisville; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Jerry Slocum, Youngstown State; Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina; Larry Hunter, Western Carolina; John Beilein, Michigan and Stew Morrill, Utah State).

Not only did Barnes show the ability to develop winning teams, he played a huge role in producing individual success. Texas is the only school in the country that claimed two National Players of the Year in the last 12 seasons, T.J. Ford (2003) and Kevin Durant (2007). During the Barnes era, UT had eight All-Americans, including four consensus first-team All-Americans (Chris Mihm in 2000, Ford in 2003, Durant in 2007 and D.J. Augustin in 2008). Augustin claimed the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard in 2008.

Texas has had 16 players drafted in the first 16 years of the Barnes era, including 10 first-round selections and six lottery picks in Mihm, Ford, LaMarcus Aldridge, Durant, Augustin and Tristan Thompson. Both Aldridge (2006) and Durant (2007) were selected as the No. 2 overall picks in their respective drafts. In fact, UT became the first school to have a Top Two pick in consecutive NBA Drafts since DePaul in 1981-82.

In the classroom, Texas Basketball has received public recognition awards for its multi-year NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) in each of the last five years (2010-14). The awards are given to teams scoring in the Top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sport. UT has earned a perfect 1,000 score in each of the last five multi-year APR reports. In addition, Men’s Basketball has posted perfect 1,000 APR single-year scores in every season dating back to 2005-06 (eight consecutive years).

Barnes has compiled a 604-314 (.658) record in 28 seasons as a collegiate head coach during stops at George Mason, Providence, Clemson and Texas. Along the way, he has guided his teams to a total of 22 NCAA Tournaments and three Postseason NIT appearances.

On April 10, 2009, Barnes received the John R. Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” honor. The award recognizes the lifetime achievement of coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal achievement. The Wooden Award committee also considers the character, success rate of the coach’s student-athletes on and off the court, graduating rate of student-athletes, coaching philosophy and a coach’s identification with the goals of the Wooden Award.

On April 1, 2011, Barnes received the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s (USBWA) Good Guy Award. The accolade honors both coaching excellence and cooperation with the media. On Nov. 7, 2014, Barnes was inducted into The University of Texas Men’s Athletics Hall of Honor. This marks the highest honor bestowed by the UT Athletics Department.



Statement from Rick Barnes

“I am so blessed to have spent the last 17 years at The University of Texas. This university, the city of Austin and the great Texas fans have been so good to me and my family. I sincerely want to thank (former UT Men’s Athletics Director) DeLoss Dodds and (former UT Chairman of the Board of Regents) Don Evans for their work in bringing me here and providing me with this great opportunity.

I leave this job with no regrets. Instead, I look back at our time here and say ‘thank you’ to all the players, coaches and staff who have worked with our program throughout the last 17 years. I am so proud of our players and their success, not only on the court, but also in the classroom and in the community. I’m humbled when I really step back and think about how many of them have gone on to be such great all-around men in life.”


Statement from Steve Patterson, Texas Men’s Athletics Director

“The University owes Rick a great deal of gratitude and respect for all he’s done to put Texas on the Basketball map. He elevated our program immensely and always did it with class. He put our student-athletes first. He won with integrity. We thank Rick for his many years of service to Texas and wish him continued success in the future.”

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.

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