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Ron Holland loves Texas Longhorns' coach Rodney Terry: 'He really deserves that job'

Duncanville 5-star committed to 'go get us a national championship next year' as Longhorns reportedly finalize Terry's permanent hire in wake of NCAA Tournament run

As Texas reportedly finalizes the permanent hiring of interim coach Rodney Terry, the Longhorns' prized 2023 recruit Ron Holland weighed in with his support.

"I’m really excited about that just knowing how hard he had those guys playing, and that he really deserves that job," Holland told reporters at McDonald's All-American media day Monday, the day after Texas' Elite Eight loss to Miami. "To see him reach that goal and get the opportunity to coach that team, it’s a really good feeling for me because I get to stay committed to that team — me and (five-star) AJ Johnson — and we get to try to go get us a national championship next year."

Holland, a 6-foot-8 five-star forward and the top-ranked player in Texas, committed to the Longhorns in November and reaffirmed his pledge after Beard's suspension in December and firing in January, saying in a tweet it's "great to see Coach Terry and the guys keep getting it done in Austin."

Holland wouldn't say if he ever wavered from his commitment, but described Terry as a coach who builds trust with players off the court.

"At the end of the day I just stayed the course," Holland said. "He was telling me to stay focused on myself, work on my game, get in the gym and anything can happen, but God put him in a place to where he did the winning and coached those guys to the elite eight, and now he has the opportunity to go coach them."

247 Sports reported an offer was coming Monday for Terry, who took over after Chris Beard was fired in January. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports said Terry and the Longhorns are finalizing a deal Monday and The Athletic's Pete Thamel reported Monday discussions are ongoing to make him the full-time head coach, but no official announcement has been confirmed.

Terry was an assistant coach at Texas under Rick Barnes for nine seasons (2002-11), then spent seven years as the head coach at Fresno State (2012-18) and three at UTEP (2019-21). Multiple Texas players backed Terry for the permanent role in the locker room Sunday.

"I enjoyed every single day of this journey with this group," Terry told reporters through tears after Texas' Elite Eight loss. "I'm going to really miss working with this group. It was never about me. It was always about these guys."

Texas entered the NCAA Tournament as a two-seed and beat Colgate, Penn State and Xavier before losing to Miami in the Elite Eight Sunday, 88-81.

ESPN ranks Holland, a consensus five-star, as the No. 5 prospect in the country, 247 Sports has him at No. 6 and On3 lists him at No. 14 in the class of 2023. 

Holland led Duncanville, No. 4 in the SBLive/Sports Illustrated power 25 national rankings, to a 29-1 record and multiple nationally ranked wins. 

In December, Panthers head coach David Peavy was suspended, the team was forced to vacate its 2022 state championship and the school's district removed the program from the 2023 UIL postseason due to rules violations.

Holland was "disappointed" to not be able to play in the 6A state tournament.

"We had a little player’s meeting and we were all locked in and said we’re all going to stay together, we’re going to play the national games and we’re going to prove ourselves, and I feel like that’s what we did this year," Holland said. "We came up short to West Linn, a really good team, but knowing we won those hard games that on paper we shouldn’t have won, you can commend (interim coach Neiman Ford) for that, because he never let us put our head down. He made us stay in the gym and work even harder."

Lead photo by Naji Saker