Tuesday , Mar , 23 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Penders named head coach at Houston

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – The University of Houston Tuesday named Tom
Penders as its new men’s head basketball coach.

Penders has agreed to a five-year contract with the Cougars and was
formally introduced at a late-afternoon press conference.

“I feel like I am coming back home. I am excited about this opportunity here
at the University of Houston,” Penders said. “It is both a dream and a desire
of mine to bring the Cougars back to national prominence and compete for a
national championship.”

Penders has not coached since 2001 when he resigned from his position at
George Washington citing burnout. However, there was also a scandal going on
with the team involving his son, who was the assistant coach at the time, and
four players.

The 58-year-old Penders succeeded Mike Jarvis in 1998 and compiled a 49-42
record in three seasons with the Colonials, including a first-round appearance
in the NCAA tournament during the 1998-99 season.

For his career, which also includes stops at Tufts, Columbia, Fordham, Rhode
Island and Texas, Penders has a record of 527-361 in 30 years.

He led the Longhorns to eight berths in the NCAA Tournament over a 10-year
span, while also guiding Rhode Island to the tournament.

“We feel very fortunate to have someone of Tom Penders’ caliber as our coach,”
said Houston athletic director Dave Maggard. “He has been to the NCAA
Tournament numerous times and has a breath of experience at the collegiate

Despite Penders’ success at Texas, his tenure there also ended in controversy.
During his final season in 1997-98, he had a dispute with players, who
complained about his coaching style. There were also allegations that he was
involved in violating privacy laws regarding the release of player Luke
Axtell’s academic records to an Austin radio station.

Houston was just 9-18 and 3-13 in Conference USA this year under head coach
Ray McCallum. The Cougars had three losing seasons in four years under
McCallum, who was reassigned to other duties in the athletic department.