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Texas gives contract extensions to Rick Barnes, Augie Garrido
So much for Steve Patterson being the hatchet man.
Not so long ago, it seemed as if the Texas Longhorns would have new head coaches in all three major men's sports, but with contract extensions awarded Thursday to basketball coach Rick Barnes and baseball coach Augie Garrido that won't be the case.
After the hire of new football coach Charlie Strong, the decisions by athletics director Steve Patterson to award extensions to Barnes and Garrido are the biggest to date for DeLoss Dodds' replacement in his 10 months on the job.
Both coaches made it easy on Patterson to retain them.
On the hot seat entering the 2013-14 season, Barnes managed to pull together a young Texas team that didn't feature a single senior and had to replace the top four scorers from the underachieving previous team, going 24-11 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Not only that, but developed a young nucleus that will add superstar recruit Myles Turner to the mix the season. The Euless Trinity prospect was the biggest commitment for the program since Kevin Durant when he pledged and then signed in late April.
As a result, Barnes had two seasons added to his contract, which now runs through the 2018-2019 season and will remain at $2.5 million annually following his $75 thousand bump next season.
And while some people may question the need for an extension after only one good season, the move does have important recruiting ramifications because know Barnes can assure 2015 prospects that he will be around for all four seasons.
Garrido had even more success than Barnes, taking Texas back to the College World Series after a two-year absence from the postseason. Once in Omaha, the Horns were on the edge of making it to the championship round and nearly emerging from the loser's bracket after a string of elimination games before an infield single in extra innings against the Commodores ended the season.
It was one of the most magical postseason runs in the distinguished history of Texas baseball and downright cathartic after the program's recent struggles.
The extension will keep Garrido at Texas until 2017, at which point he's likely to retire. He'll make $1.04 million per season.
Charlie Strong Thursday press conference news and notes
Where do things stand with the Horns with fall camp winding down?
Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong met with the media for the first time this week on Thursday as the Horns wind down fall camp and get ready to prepare for North Texas.
It was an info-packed availability from Strong. Here are the highlights:
-- The Horns will have what Strong described as a "mock scrimmage" on Saturday. The word usage there is a little bit curious, but Strong has mentioned in the past that he doesn't necessarily believe in full-on scrimmages, instead preferring to work on different situations. So on Saturday, Texas will go over game-day scenarios and work on field placement and special teams.
-- Those hoping for positive injury news regarding senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley will be disappointed by what Strong had to say. The likely No. 1 target for junior quarterback David Ash hasn't been practicing and Strong doesn't know if he will be at full speed for North Texas, although from that wording it sounds like he will be able to play unless he suffers a setback in the coming days.
-- Strong also laid out the starters on his defense with no few surprises -- junior defensive end Shiro Davis is ahead of sophomore defensive end Caleb Bluiett in the competition for the spot opposite senior Cedric Reed, while freshman safety Jason Hall and sophomore walk-on safety Dylan Haines are still battling to start with senior Mykkele Thompson.
-- On Hall, the Texas head coach said that the former three-star prospect is "very mature at his age and he's picking up the defense and practices so well." Makes sense given his ascent of the depth chart and jives with what Thompson said on Wednesday.
-- Even if Hall wins the starting job, look for Haines and freshman walk-on Ty Templin, a wide receiver, to see playing time this fall. Last week, Strong said that Templin was doing an "unbelievable job" stepping up. Of his walk ons as a whole, Strong was effusive in his praise, saying "We cannot be the football team that we are without their hard work." He added that he doesn't differentiate between scholarship players and walk ons.
-- There's a victor in the back-up quarterback job -- sophomore Tyrone Swoopes, who beat out true freshman Jerrod Heard. All the reports from practice have had Swoopes as remaining inconsistent, especially with his accuracy, but there haven't been any indications that Heard has taken advantage of Swoopes' erratic passing, so the Denton Guyer product is likely headed for a redshirt season.
-- As for Ash, Strong said that his starter has done an "unbelievable job" during fall camp
-- Strong also said that he hasn't determined a suspension length for senior offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, junior wide receiver Daje Johnson, and senior safety Josh Turner. In regards to Johnson, Strong was asked about whether the speedster "gets it" and merely said, "That's his decision." Hardly a ringing endorsement from the coach, suggesting that Johnson still hasn't turned the corner with his maturity and work ethic.
-- Along the offensive line, with Harrison suspended for the first game, Strong said that junior Marcus Hutchins and redshirt freshman Darius James are the primary candidates to play at right tackle against the Mean Green. Hutchins could turn into one of the most positive and surprising stories on the team this fall if he continues to play at a high level. After working with the defensive tackles only weeks ago, Hutchins has apparently adjusted well with his move back to the offensive line and looks like he's in line to contribute for the first time in his career.