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Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard, a pivotal recruiter in Texas, joining the Longhorns

Jerrance Howard convinced some of Kansas’ best players to come to Lawrence. Chris Beard is banking on Howard being able to recruit them to Austin.

Howard, who spent eight seasons helping to maintain a Big 12 powerhouse, is leaving the Jayhawks to become an assistant coach with the Longhorns, Kansas coach Bill Self announced Tuesday. 

Texas did not confirm the hiring. The school has not confirmed any hiring yet for the new men’s basketball staff. But UTEP’s Rodney Terry also announced Tuesday that he was leaving El Paso to join the Texas staff.

“I want to thank Jerrance for all of his hard work and dedication to Kansas men’s basketball over the past eight years,” Self said in a statement. “I was fortunate to coach him at Illinois and loved the opportunity we had to coach together here at KU. 

Kansas assistant coach Jerrance Howard congratulates center Udoka Azubuike (35) during the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 17, 2018.

“He has been a member of our great staff and instrumental in the development of many players over his eight seasons,” Self added. “I would like to express my appreciation to Jerrance, his wife Jessica, as well as JJ and Jaya. We certainly wish them all the best.”

Howard played for Self for three seasons during his time at Illinois from 2001-04. He was an assistant for Billy Gillispie at Texas A&M and Kentucky before going to Lawrence.

Howard is credited with landing some key Jayhawks in recent years from the state of Texas, including Marcus Garrett (Dallas Skyline), Jalen Wilson (Denton Guyer) and Quentin Grimes (The Woodlands). 

The hiring signals that Beard believes it’s critical to recruit in Texas. Basketball is only getting tougher in this state. Texas Tech reached the Elite Eight in 2018 and the national championship game in 2019. Houston and Baylor both made the Final Four this season, and the Bears won their first men’s basketball national title.

Texas has not even won an NCAA Tournament game since 2014.

“Working for coach Self and being a part of Kansas basketball has been a true privilege that I will always be grateful for,” Howard said in a statement. “As I look forward to my next career opportunity, I thank God for the amazing players, staff, and community I have been blessed to know during my eight seasons at KU.”

During Howard’s time at Kansas, the Jayhawks won six Big 12 championships, two Big 12 tournament titles, made three Elite Eight appearances and one Final Four. Also, the Jayhawks sent 13 players to the NBA during that span.

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