Tom Penders

Tom Penders (born May 23, 1945)

Teams coached: Tufts Jumbos, Columbia Lions, Fordham Rams, Rhode Island Rams, Texas Longhorns, George Washington Colonials, Houston Cougars
Columbia record: 43-60 (.417)
Fordham record: 125-114 (.523)
Rhode Island record: 48-17 (.738)
Texas record: 208-110 (.654)
George Washington record: 49-42 (.538)
Houston record: 121-77 (.611)
Overall record^: 648-438 (.597)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2004-2010 Houston
1998-2001 George Washington
1988-1998 Texas
1986-1988 Rhode Island
1978-1986 Fordham
1974-1978 Columbia
1971-1974 Tufts

Tom Penders Facts

  • Thomas Vincent Penders
  • Born May 23, 1945
  • Hometown: Stratford, Connecticut
  • Alma Mater: University of Connecticut (BA, 1967)
  • Lettered in both basketball and baseball at Stratford (CT) HS and went on to do the same at UConn
    • Rare distinction of having played in both the NCAA Tournament (1965, 1967) and College World Series (1965)
    • Drafted in the 9th round of the 1968 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians; spent time playing at the AA level
  • Returned to CT in 1968 to coach the Bullard Havens HS basketball team for one year (16-7)
    • Spent the next two seasons coaching Bridgeport HS, where he went 43-3 overall
  • Became the head coach at Division III Tufts in 1971, leading the Jumbos to a 54-18 record over three seasons
  • Spent the next fourteen seasons at the Division I level on the East Coast, coaching at Columbia, Fordham and Rhode Island, before being hired as the Texas Longhorns’ head coach in 1988
  • After being fired from UT, Penders took over the George Washington program for three years; took the Colonials to the NCAA Tournament in 1999
  • Final coaching position was a six-year tenure with Houston, where he won 121 games and made five postseason appearances, including the 2010 NCAA Tournament
  • In 2021, Penders was inducted into both the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Along with his wife, Susie, has one son and two daughters
    • Penders’ family is full of coaches: father coached baseball at Stratford HS, brother Jim is a HS baseball coach and two nephews coach college baseball

Tom Penders Coaching Tree

  • Jack Armstrong (Niagara)
  • Rod Baker (Delaware 87ers, Harlem Globetrotters, ABA, CBA, UC Irvine, Tufts)
  • Chris Beard (Ole Miss, Texas, Texas Tech, Little Rock, Angelo State, McMurry)
  • Matt Brady (James Madison, Marist)
  • Jim Christian (Canisius, Boston College, Ohio, TCU, Kent State)
  • Tom Garrick (UMass Lowell (w))
  • Buddy Mahar (Johnson State, Columbia)
  • Tom Parrotta (Canisius)
  • Bob Quinn (Fordham)
  • Al Skinner (Kennesaw State, Boston College, Rhode Island)
  • Vic Trilli (North Texas)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at both the NCAA Division I and Division III levels