March 23, 2004
UH is hiring who?
The University of Houston will announce today that it hiring 58 year old, former University of Texas basketball coach Tom Penders as its new men's basketball coach.
This is one of the most puzzling coaching hires that I have seen in years, particularly for UH, which is famous for giving such coaching icons as Bill Yeoman, Guy V. Lewis and current baseball coach Rayner Noble their first head coaching jobs at a relatively young age and then sticking with them through thick and thin.
Penders was fired by the University of Texas in 1998, and UT couldn't have been happier getting rid of him despite the fact that Penders restored a winning tradition to UT's men's basketball program. UT released Penders when a scandal broke out over his coaching staffs' public release of a player's grades after the player decided to transfer to another school. Penders allegedly authorized the release of former UT player Luke Axtell's grades and then blamed it on others. After the ensuing scandal soured Penders' prospects at UT, Penders received a $900,000 going-away present and soon took the head coaching job at George Washington University, where he lasted two seasons before resigning amid revelations of players using his son's telephone account to make over $1,000 in telephone calls. Penders has recently been a color man on college basketball telecasts.
To give you an idea what type of fellow UH is hiring in Penders, one only needs to recall how Penders left his longtime assistant, Eddie Oran, who now sells cars in Bastrop, Texas, twisting in the wind when Penders left UT:
"If I had done anything illegal or wrong, you think they'd give me $900,000?" said Penders. "It's trumped up and bogus. I'm not going to say anything other than Eddie Oran has to live in Austin and sell cars."
Posted by Tom at March 23, 2004 6:43 AM |
You should have done some fact checking... Penders is a great coach who has done some great things for college basketball- not that it matters, but what do you think of him now that he's brought the cougars to a 7-3 record with a team that only won 9 games last year???? yeah....
Posted by: cougar fan at December 19, 2004 6:13 AM
Coach Penders has done a good job so far as the UH basketball coach. However, his legacy at UH will ultimately be determined by how well he leaves the program, not how well he starts in it. If the way he left his last two programs is any indication, then UH should be quite concerned on how the program will ultimately turn out under Coach Penders. That doesn't mean that Coach Penders cannot change and that he will restore the UH program to respectability, and I hope that he succeeds. But his background definitely raises concerns.
Posted by: Tom K. at December 19, 2004 7:05 AM
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