UT Arlington hires new men‘s basketball coach – and Kevin Durant approves

Longtime assistant coach has been named UT Arlington‘s head men‘s basketball coach.

, who has been an assistant at Texas Tech the past two seasons, replaces Scott Cross, along with his staff by UTA athletic director Jim . Cross had been the Mavs‘ head coach for 12 seasons.

“I’ve worked for this my whole life dating back to playing basketball,” said Ogden, who played at Seminole High School. “I’ve dreamed of having a job in Texas my whole life. I feel I’m ready. But it’s kind of like being a father. You think you’re ready but you’re not. Next thing you know your hair is falling out. I’m going to hire a staff that has enough experience around me.”

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UT Arlington announced the hire of Texas Tech assistant Chris Ogden as the Mavs‘ new head basketball coach Friday, April 6, 2018. Stefan Stevenson

Ogden said he‘ll work hard to earn the trust of those (including athletic donors) upset by Cross‘s firing.

“I get why everybody is upset. There is nobody that has more respect for Scott Cross than I do,” he said. “I look forward to establishing a relationship with everybody. I know it’s not going to happen over night. I get that. But give me a chance to earn your trust.”

That starts with the players, whom Ogden met with Friday morning. Many of the current players attended the press conference. Athletic director Jim Baker thanked the players for handling the coaching shakeup which he called a “curve ball.”

“I think it‘s still kind of settling in now,” Junior guard DJ Bryant said. “It‘s different. Not anything anybody expected. But after speaking with the [former] coaches they instilled in us that God has a plan. We‘re at peace with what‘s to come.”

Baker said he hopes the hiring helps grow the program and help it reach a new level.

It‘s an eventual thing, you want to continue to grow your program. You‘re not going to do it overnight,” Baker said. “So you make the steps of hiring a new coach and surrounding him with the people he needs to be successful. It‘s one us. We have to go out and raise money and get sponsorships and do those things in the community to grow our attendance. It‘s a full-court press from here on.”

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At UTA‘s College Park Center you can sit just about anywhere you want to for a Mavericks home basketball game. Max Faulknermfaulkner-telegram

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Ogden played four seasons at the University of Texas (2000-03) where he was a captain on the Longhorns 2003 Final Four team. He finished his career at UT with 97 team victories, which was more than any other player in program history at the time.

“Congrats to my friend [Chris Ogden] on becoming the next head coach for UT Arlington,” Golden State Wariors forward . “He is the true definition of a players coach! Big things ahead for him and his program.”

He went on to spend 12 seasons on Rick Barnes‘ Longhorn staff, including the last seven of that stint as an assistant coach. Ogden was an assistant under Barnes at Tennessee for the 2015-16 season before moving to Texas Tech.

Baker told the Star-Telegram earlier in the week that one of the key abilities of the next head coach was going to be the ability to amplify the Mavs recruiting efforts. That‘s something that Ogden should be able to do.

He was instrumental in helping Texas land six McDonald‘s All-Americans, including NBA stars Avery Bradley, Corey Joseph, Tristan Thompson, and Myles Turner.

Ogden has coached seven players that have been drafted in the NBA, including Thompson (4th overall in 2011), Jordan Hamilton (No. 26 overall in 2011), Joseph (No. 29 overall in 2011).

This past season, he was a part of a Red Raiders program that made it all the way to the Elite Eight, where it lost to eventual national champion Villanova.

Ogden’s Coaching Experience

Seasons, School, Position

2003-04, Texas, Student Assistant Coach

2004-08, Texas, Administrative Assistant

2008-15, Texas, Assistant Coach

2015-16, Tennessee, Assistant Coach

2016-18, Texas Tech, Assistant Coach