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UTEP coach Rodney Terry stepping down to join Chris Beard at Texas

Terry coached nine seasons at Texas under Rick Barnes; F Kamaka Hepa also in transfer portal

UTEP coach Rodney Terry became the second Division I head coach Tuesday to leave his position to come back to Texas as an assistant under Chris Beard.

In a statement posted on social media, Terry announced he was leaving the Miners and rejoining the Longhorns. Terry was an assistant under Rick Barnes for nine seasons from 2002-11 and was part of the coaching staff that reached the 2003 Final Four.

“After a significant amount of deliberation over the past few days I’ve decided to step down as the head coach of men’s Miner basketball,” Terry said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Ultimately, the University of Texas (at) Austin, Chris Beard and the opportunity to return home were the impetus behind this decision.”

Former Texas assistant Rodney Terry, right, coached at UT for nine seasons with Rick Barnes before going to become a head coach. He's leaving the UTEP job to come back to Austin and be an assistant under new Texas coach Chris Beard.

Terry joins Chris Ogden, the former head coach at UT-Arlington, to leave a head coaching position to come back to Austin. 

Terry also thanked UTEP administrators for the last three seasons. He was 37-48 at UTEP after going 163-156 in seven seasons as the head coach at Fresno State.

A UT spokesman said Tuesday he could not confirm Terry’s title or even that Terry would indeed be on Beard’s staff. 

More:Texas' Royce Hamm, Donovan Williams both going into transfer portal

As of now, it’s unclear how many assistants and/or “analysts” the Longhorns will have under Beard. NCAA rules allow for three assistant coaches, but schools have gotten around that with creative with titles these days.

Mark Adams, Beard’s top assistant at Texas Tech, was promoted to the head coaching role with the Red Raiders. 

Hepa transferring: Junior forward Kamaka Hepa has put his name into the NCAA transfer portal, according to Orangebloods. 

The Alaska native played only nine games this season after first thinking about redshirting. But when the NCAA gave everyone a free year of eligibility for COVID-19, Hepa decided to play. In three seasons, Hepa has averaged 10.9 minutes per game as served as one of UT’s top sideline energy players.

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.