The firing of head coach Chris Beard has left the Texas Longhorns men's basketball coaching job open. Here are five candidates who could step up for Texas.
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Calipari to Texas? Four Leading Candidates for the Longhorns Head Coaching Job

Despite losing their head coach halfway through the season, the Texas Longhorns never faltered. They finished second in the regular season in the Big 12, then destroyed Kansas in the Big 12 championship. They were given a second seed in the NCAA Tournament and made easy work of Colgate in the first round. They are poised to make a deep run in the tournament, with college basketball pundits having them reach the Final Four. But as the season winds down to an end, the biggest question hovering over the program is: Who will be the head coach next season?

Rodney Terry - Texas Interim Head Coach

Head coach Rodney Terry of the Texas Longhorns reacts late in the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena

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This is a no-brainer and would be shocking if interim head coach Rodney Terry doesn't become the next head coach of the Texas Longhorns. He led the Longhorns to success through difficult Big 12 play and kept the team's composure together after the arrest and eventual firing of former head coach Chris Beard. Terry has a lot of Longhorn coaching experience as well. From 2002-2011, he was an assistant coach, where he coached up the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin. He left Texas in 2011 to become the head coach at Fresno State, where he went 126-108, posted 20-win seasons in four out of his last five years there, and led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in 2016, the first time Fresno State went dancing since 2001. From Fresno State, he went on to become the head coach at UTEP before returning to Austin. Texas alum T.J. Ford has endorsed Terry to become the next head coach.

John Calipari - Kentucky Head Coach

Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts after a play in the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rupp Arena

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It seems to have quieted a little, but at one point during the season, Big Blue Nation wanted Kentucky head coach John Calipari out of Lexington. There were rumors that Calipari and Texas were talking through back channels. It also seemed as if Calipari and the Kentucky athletic director no longer had a working relationship. Whether or not any of the gossip was true, Texas would be foolish not to at least gain Calipari's interest. His reputation as a coach precedes him, being one of the best head coaches in the history of college basketball. He's taken three different programs in the NCAA Tournament and has won a national championship. His recruiting is off the charts, too.

Jerome Tang - Kansas St. Head Coach

Head coach Jerome Tang of the Kansas State Wildcats leads his team against the Kentucky Wildcats during the second round of the 2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Greensboro Coliseum

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Jerome Tang, who is in his first year as head coach at Kansas State, has made an immediate impact for the Wildcats. Kansas State was predicted in the preseason to finish last in the Big 12. Instead, it finished third. At one point, the Wildcats had one of the biggest ranking jumps in AP poll history, going from unranked to 11th. Due to this great first season, Tang was named Big 12 Coach of the Year. Tang was an assistant for 19 years for Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears. At Baylor, Tang won a national championship. His ability to change a program instantaneously is a reason Texas should look at him.

Jay Wright - Former Villanova Head Coach

Jay Wright cuts down the nets

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Jay Wright, who currently serves as a CBS Sports college basketball analyst, has a reputation that also precedes him, just like Calipari. The former Villanova head coach is a two-time national champion and holds an almost .700 winning percentage, at 642-282. He's also a two-time Naismith College Coach of the Year. In his last season as a head coach, he led the Villanova Wildcats to the Final Four, the fourth time he has done so in his career. He was also named an AP Coach of the Decade for the 2010s. The only question is whether he wants to come out of retirement.

Whoever takes over the head coaching position for the Longhorns will be doing so for a program that expects excellence. They also can expect a multitude of funds to achieve that excellence.

MORE: The Texas Longhorns are Poised to Make Their First Final Four in 20 Years. Here's Why.