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'I'm a lucky coach!' | UT's Rodney Terry named Sporting News National Coach of the Year

Terry, who was named interim head coach of the Longhorns in January, is the first coach in Texas Basketball program history to earn the prestigious award.

AUSTIN, Texas ā€” Sporting News has named Rodney Terry, interim head coach of Texas Men's Basketball, as the Men's College Basketball National Coach of the Year.

Terry is the first coach in Texas Basketball program history to earn the prestigious award, according to the University of Texas at Austin.

The annual award is presented to the best men's college basketball head coach in the NCAA Division 1 competition. The first award was given back in 1964. 

Terry was named acting head coach of the Longhorns in mid-December and named interim head coach for the remainder of the season in early January.

Since taking over in December, UT reports that Terry has guided the team to a 16-7 mark, including five wins against AP Top 25 opponents. The Longhorns are 7-1 under Terry in games decided by five points or less or in overtime.

The team has a 23-8 overall record (12-6 Big 12) entering this week's Philips 66 Big 12 Championship, in which Texas earned a No. 2 seed, marking the highest seed for the Longhorns at the tournament since 2011. 

The Longhorns' 23 regular-season wins mark the most regular-season victories by Texas since the 2010-11 season (25-6). The team is 5-3 against AP Top 11 opponents this year, and the seven wins against AP-ranked teams are tied for the second-most in program history.

Texas is ranked No. 7 in the latest AP poll (out March 6) and has now been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll for 16 consecutive weeks ā€“ the longest stretch since Texas was in the top 10 for all 19 polls during the 2002-03 Final Four season, according to UT.

In February, KVUE Sports Director Jeff Jones reported that Terry was on of three Big 12 coaches to earn his way onto the 15-person Naismith Men's Coach of the Year late-season watchlist. Jones spoke with Terry's players and opponents alike about his style and whether he deserves the Big 12 Coach of the Year award.

"RT [Rodney Terry] just has what it takes," forward Dillon Mitchell told KVUE.

"If there's one man I'm glad is coaching me, it's RT," forward Timmy Allen said.

"Rodney always had an energy about himself," Oklahoma men's basketball coach Porter Moser said. "He's coaching that way and his team is playing that way."

On Wednesday, Terry tweeted a response to Sporting News naming him the Men's College Basketball National Coach of the Year.

"I am humbled to receive this award. This is a testament to a resilient group of guys and a great staff who mentors our players tirelessly," Terry said. "I'm a lucky coach!"

Learn more about the previous winners of the award.

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