James Dickey Introduced as Houston Men's Basketball Head Coach
April 1, 2010
A veteran of multiple NCAA Tournaments, James Dickey was introduced Thursday afternoon as the University of Houston men's basketball head coach.
Dickey became the eighth coach in the history of the Houston program. As a head coach at Texas Tech for 10 years or in a 17-year career as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Arkansas, Central Arkansas and Harding College, he mentored more than 20 players who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA), competed in 12 NCAA Tournaments and earned six conference or district Coach of the Year awards.
Under his guidance, Texas Tech captured three regular-season or tournament championships during his career, including a sweep of both titles in 1996.
"The more people I spoke with during our coaching search, the more good things I heard about James, his character and the quality of program that he leads. Winning basketball programs, with first-class student-athletes on and off the court, have followed James throughout his career, and that is certainly no coincidence," Houston director of athletics Mack Rhoades told a crowd of fans inside the Great Hall at the Athletics/Alumni Center. "He is an exceptional leader and mentor of young men. We are excited to have James lead our basketball program, and we welcome him, Bettye, Lauren and Jared to our Cougar family."
Following a death in his family, Dickey sat out of the coaching ranks for the last two years to care for his family. Prior to that, he served for six seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State. During his stint in Stillwater, Dickey helped lead the Cowboys to six straight postseason tournaments, including a 31-4 record and appearance in the 2004 NCAA Final Four.
He became familiar with the Cowboy program as a color commentator for one season prior to joining the OSU sideline.
Dickey followed Tom Penders, who resigned March 22 after six years at the helm of the Cougar bench.
AT TEXAS TECH Dickey served as the head coach at Texas Tech from 1991 to 2001, leading the Red Raiders to a 164-123 (.571) record, two NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT berth during his stint. Taking over a Texas Tech program that had won only 13 games combined during the two seasons before his arrival in Lubbock, Dickey guided the Red Raiders to winning seasons in each of his first six years.
After leading Texas Tech to a 15-14 record in his first season, he was honored as the 1992 Southwest Conference Coach of the Year.
During his second season, Dickey led Texas Tech to a 15-11 regular-season record entering the SWC Classic. The Red Raiders reeled off back-to-back wins against Baylor and TCU and then enjoyed an 88-76 win over Houston in the title game to win the tournament championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Two years later, the Red Raiders competed in the NIT after finishing second at the SWC Classic, which included a semifinal victory against the Cougars.
The Red Raiders enjoyed the greatest season in school history during the 1995-96 campaign. After starting the year 7-1, Dickey led Texas Tech on a 21-game winning streak that did not end until a loss to Georgetown in the Sweet 16.
EARLY COACHING CAREER Dickey first joined the coaching ranks as an assistant coach at Harding College in Searcy, Ark., for the 1976-77 season. He earned his master's degree in education during that stint with the Bison program.
From there, Dickey accepted his first head coaching position, taking the reins at the local high school, Harding Academy. His first step into the collegiate ranks was a return engagement to his alma mater at Central Arkansas. He was an assistant in the Bears program for two seasons, helping the school to a 33-29 record during that time.
Following the 1980-81 season, Dickey accepted an offer from legendary head coach Eddie Sutton to join his staff at Arkansas. He worked at Arkansas for four seasons and helped lead the Razorbacks to a 96-30 combined record. The Hogs made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and won the 1982 Southwest Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
When Sutton accepted the head coaching job at Kentucky after the 1984-85 campaign, Dickey also made the move to Lexington. The duo helped lead the Wildcats to a 90-40 overall record during the next four season with three NCAA Tournament appearances during that span. In 1986, Dickey helped lead Kentucky into the Elite Eight and final rankings of No. 3 and No. 4 in the Associated Press and coaches' polls, respectively.
Dickey earned his first collegiate head coaching opportunity when Texas Tech head coach Gerald Myers stepped down after the 1990-91 campaign. He was named Texas Tech's head coach on April 10, 1991, after serving one season as an assistant coach with the Red Raiders.
PERSONAL His wife, the former Bettye Fiscus of Wynne, Ark., was a standout performer for the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks and remains the program's all-time leading scorer. The two met when Dickey was coaching at Arkansas.
They have a daughter Lauren Brooks and a son Jared Allen.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT JAMES DICKEY "Everyone has only had wonderful things to say about Coach Dickey. He is a great coach, an outstanding recruiter and an inspiring role model for our student-athletes." Dr. Renu Khator, University of Houston system chancellor/University of Houston president
"The more people I spoke with during our coaching search, the more good things I heard about James, his character and the quality of program that he leads. Winning basketball programs, with first-class student-athletes on and off the court, have followed James throughout his career, and that is certainly no coincidence. He is an exceptional leader and mentor of young men. We are excited to have James lead our basketball program, and we welcome him, Bettye, Lauren and Jared to our Cougar family." Mack Rhoades, University of Houston director of athletics
"I am happy to hear of James Dickey's selection as the new men's basketball coach at the University of Houston. I have known Coach Dickey for 20 years, and he is a great motivator with proven leadership skills. Coach Dickey will not only coach his players at the highest level, but he will prepare them to be successful in life. I congratulate Coach Dickey and his family, as well as the Cougars, on this exciting announcement." Kent Hance, Texas Tech chancellor
"The University of Houston is extremely fortunate to get a man in Coach (James) Dickey who is an excellent coach and recruiter who knows the State of Texas very well. He will be a valuable addition to the Houston Athletics Department." Big 12 Conference associate commissioner John Underwood
"James is one of the best assistant coaches I ever had. He is simply a great person, who recruits complete student-athletes. He is a tremendous recruiter and will find excellent talent in Texas. James will be a winner at the University of Houston." Eddie Sutton, legendary head coach and eighth-winningest in NCAA Division I history Note: Hired Dickey as an assistant at Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State
"The University of Houston hired one of the most respected and quality people in our business. He is an unbelievable coach, recruiter and mentor. Kids will want to play for him, and parents will want their kids to play for him. He has had great success with Texas kids, and no one will be surprised with the future success that the University of Houston will soon encounter." Doc Sadler, University of Nebraska head coach Note: Worked with Dickey at Arkansas and Texas Tech
"This is a great hire for the University of Houston. Coach Dickey is going to do an excellent job at Houston. He brings an understanding of every players' potential, and then the team will gel based on this understanding. His teams always progressed every year and got better once the players bought into his system." former Texas Tech standout Jason Sasser
"This is a great hire for Houston. If he can recruit (at Houston) the way he did at Tech, he can put a national championship team together there by just recruiting the city of Houston. (The Houston program) will definitely be a program on the rise." former Texas Tech standout Lance Hughes
JAMES DICKEY AT A GLANCE Full name: James Allen Dickey Hometown: Valley Springs, Ark. Birthdate: April 2, 1954
EDUCATION Harding College master's degree in education 1977 University of Central Arkansas bachelor's degree in education 1976 Valley Springs High School 1972
FAMILY Wife: The former Bettye Fiscus (all-time leading scorer at the University of Arkansas) Children: Daughter Lauren Brooks, son Jared Allen
COACHING HISTORY 2002-08 Oklahoma State assistant coach 1991-01 Texas Tech head coach 1990-91 Texas Tech assistant coach 1985-89 Kentucky assistant coach 1981-85 Arkansas assistant coach 1979-81 Central Arkansas assistant coach 1977-79 Harding Academy head coach 1976-77 Harding College assistant coach
HEAD COACHING NOTES 164-123 (.571) record in 10 seasons at Texas Tech Two NCAA Tournament appearances (1996, 1993) 1 NIT berth (1995)
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS 1996 SWC Classic Champions 1996 Southwest Conference champions 1993 SWC Classic Champions
COACHING HONORS 1997 NABC District 7 Coach of the Year 1996 NABC District 7 Coach of the Year 1995 NABC District 7 Coach of the Year 1992 NABC District 7 Coach of the Year 1996 Southwest Conference Coach of the Year 1992 Southwest Conference Coach of the Year
PLAYING EXPERIENCE 1972-76 Valley Springs High School Four-year letterman
NBA PLAYERS COACHED Cory Carr, Texas Tech Tony Battie, Texas Tech Darvin Ham, Texas Tech Mark Davis, Texas Tech Jason Sasser, Texas Tech Chris Mills, Kentucky LeRon Ellis, Kentucky Rex Chapman, Kentucky Winston Bennett, Kentucky Kenny Walker, Kentucky Byron Irvin, Arkansas Scott Hastings, Arkansas Darrell Walker, Arkansas Alvin Robertson, Arkansas Joe Kleine, Arkansas Tony Brown, Arkansas Tony Allen, Oklahoma State Joey Graham, Oklahoma State Stephen Graham, Oklahoma State John Lucas III, Oklahoma State Ivan McFarlin, Oklahoma State JamesOn Curry, Oklahoma State