When Rodney Terry suddenly left his head coaching position at UTEP to get an assistant job at the University of Texas, fans were left with many questions. The main issue was why someone with three guaranteed years left on his contract would take less money to become an assistant coach? Although the move surprised many El Pasoans, Terry fit right in with the Longhorns, where he had previously spent nine years as an assistant coach to Rick Barnes. After the events earlier this week, Terry has been thrust back into the head coaching role, where he could have an opportunity to make the most of it.

Texas men's basketball head coach Chris Beard was arrested early Monday on a domestic family violence charge and since, he has been suspended without pay. According to ESPN, the legal process could take more than a year to reach its conclusion. Meanwhile, the 54-year old Terry finds himself in a position to lead the Longhorns in Beard's absence. Monday night, #7 Texas needed overtime to defeat Rice 87-81. Given the immense distraction from their head coach's arrest, the Longhorns struggled to put away a good Rice team. When they finally defeated the Owls by six points, the team was ready to celebrate with their new leader.

It is obvious from this video how badly the team wanted to win that game for Terry. He has always had the reputation of being a terrific recruiter and player's coach. Along with assistants Brandon Chappell and Bob Donewald Jr., Terry helped assemble a loaded roster in Austin. Jabari Rice played against Terry for three seasons while at NMSU and the former Miner head coach played an integral role in bringing in top talent like Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen, and Tyrese Hunter. The Longhorns turned heads early when they knocked off top ranked Gonzaga. Joe Golding and his UTEP Miners actually played Texas tough last month when the two teams met at the Moody Center for the new arena's first ever home game.

Rice v Texas
Getty Images

Since nobody knows if Beard will ever return to the bench and resume his head coaching duties, Terry could benefit the most with an extended audition. Unlike his UTEP teams, Texas is stacked and built to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. If the Longhorns reach their potential and play well in the Big 12 and go deep in the postseason, Rodney Terry could become an instant hero for Texas basketball fans and also land a permanent job as the school's men's basketball head coach.

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