3 worst head coaching hires in Texas basketball history

Shaka Smart, Texas basketball
Shaka Smart, Texas basketball / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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In the last three decades, Texas basketball has been a regular regarding appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Among Texas's 37 NCAA Tournament appearances in program history, 29 have come since 1989.

Texas has also made it to the NCAA Tournament three years in a row (likely four this coming postseason).

Texas basketball has an inconsistent track record of head coaching hires

This level of success for Longhorns basketball in the last few decades would indicate that the administration and boosters have made all the right decision regarding head coaching hires.

But Texas had a handful of misses regarding its head coaching hires in program history, even with the improved success in the last 30 or 40 years. Of the 20 head coaches that have coached at least one full season (at least 20 games) at Texas, four had losing records.

Two more of those 20 head coaches in program history did not make an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

On the other hand, Texas does have seven head coaches that both had winning records at Texas while making multiple NCAA Tournament apperances. Former Texas head coaches Rick Barnes and Tommy Penders are commonly considered two of the best in the recent history of the program.

Barnes and Penders both posted winning percentages in their time as Texas head coaches of over .650. And they combined for six regular season conference titles, one Final Four appearance, two conference tournament crowns, and 24 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Here's a look at three of the worst head coaching hires in the history of the Texas men's basketball program.

Marshall Hughes (1956-57 to 1958-59)

25-46 (.352 winning percentage)

The Marshall Hughes-era at Texas got off to a pretty explosive and sometimes promising start during the 1956-57 season. Hughes and the Longhorns beat the No. 3 SMU Mustangs in the first ever televised home game, by a score of 77-68, in what would be one of the biggest upsets of the 1956-57 college hoops season.

Texas had a winning record and had a promising outlook for the rest of Hughes first year as the head coach following that nine-point win over SMU. But the Longhorns lost seven of eight games to close out his first season as the head coach to finish up with a losing record, two games below .500.

The next two seasons saw the Longhorns go through a pretty continuous regression regarding success in the win column under Hughes. Texas fans/students started to get pretty unsettled with the results on the court during the 1957-58 season as the Longhorns lost four of its last five games in SWC play to end the campaign.

Hughes and the Longhorns hit rock bottom during the 1958-59 campaign, finishing in last place in the SWC. Texas only won four games (posting a record of 4-20) during the 1958-59 season, which was Hughes' final year at the helm as the Longhorns' head coach.

Before Texas beat the Rice Owls 63-54 at Gregory Gymnasium in the 1958-59 regular season finale, this team had lost 13 straight games in SWC play. Former Duke head coach Harold Bradley replaced Hughes following the conclusion of the 1958-59 season.

Hughes never posted a record better than 11-13 in his three seasons at Texas. Hughes' .352 winning percentage is the worst of any Texas head coach in program history.