Struggling to hold back his emotions, Rick Barnes said he loved Jesus, blessed to have so many friendships and thoroughly enjoyed his 17 years as the men’s basketball coach at the University of Texas.
“I just want you to know that I’m really, really thankful that God has blessed me in so many ways,” Barnes said during a press conference Sunday at Bellmont Hall.
Texas officials made the official announcement Sunday morning that Barnes and Men’s Athletic Director Steve Patterson had “mutually agreed” to part ways.
Barnes made it clear he was not going to sacrifice any assistant coaches to keep his job and that Patterson actually told him after the Butler loss that he would remain for another season. “But something changed,” Barnes said.
“You want the fairytale ending, and sometimes you don’t get it the way you wanted,” Barnes said.
During a nearly hour-long press conference, Barnes reflected on how he was hired by former AD DeLoss Dodds and Don Evans, the former chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. He said he wasn’t the perfect husband, but praised his wife, Candy, for standing by his side.
But it’s clear that Barnes is unhappy how his firing was handled. Late Thursday, a source told the American-Statesman and other Texas-based papers that Patterson had asked Barnes to make changes. “I know that was released by the university,” Barnes said.
The 60-year-old coach said, “I love this program, but I will tell you, I love these people who have affected my life more than my job.”
In summation, Barnes said, “I wouldn’t call me a legend by any strength of the imagination. But someone is going to be extremely blessed with a wonderful opportunity.”
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