After five seasons, the last four of which saw the Mean Green’s win drop, North Texas has fired Tony Benford as head men’s basketball coach. This year’s team finished alone at the the bottom of the C-USA standings at just 8-22 (2-16).
Due to their last place finish, North Texas is ineligible for next week’s C-USA Tournament and can therefore get a head start on their coaching search. The Mean Green were lead in scoring this season by two juniors and a freshman, so if they new coach can keep the roster together there is certainly an opportunity to build something next year. That, plus the desirable DFW-area location, will make North Texas an attractive job to mid-major head coaches and high-major assistants alike. Finding someone with recruiting ties in Texas will be imperative.
A number of head coaches are having success this year at mid-major Texas programs, including Texas Southern‘s Mike Davis, UT-Arlington‘s Scott Cross, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi‘s Willis Wilson, and Sam Houston State‘s Jason Hooten. All of which could get a look from UNT, especially Wilson who will be headed to the postseason for the fourth straight year.
Benford is a Texas Tech grad and came into the UNT program as a long-time, highly touted assistant coach. His last stop before taking the job was Marquette, where he served as an assistant – then associate head coach – under Buzz Williams.