After spending four seasons as head coach at Houston, James Dickey announced in late March that he was stepping down to attend to private family matters. And just over a month later Dickey has returned to the coaching ranks, returning to Stillwater to join Travis Ford’s coaching staff at Oklahoma State. The news was announced by the school Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m excited and honored and want to thank Coach Ford for the opportunity to join his staff. I have followed his playing and coaching career and have great respect for who he is and what he’s accomplished,” Dickey said in the school release. “I’m thrilled about returning to Oklahoma State and living in Stillwater. My family is here and this is a great place to live and work.
“Cowboy basketball is special and has a knowledgeable, passionate fan base and a very loyal, enthusiastic student body. It will be exciting to be back in historic Gallagher-Iba Arena. Coach Ford has a tremendous staff which I look forward to being a part of as we build on the great tradition of OSU basketball.”
Dickey moves into the position formerly held by Steve Middleton, who was not retained at the end of the 2013-14 season, and he joins Butch Pierre and Chris Ferguson on Ford’s coaching staff.
This will be Dickey’s second stint in Stillwater, as he was a member of Eddie Sutton’s coaching staff from 2002-08. The most successful season during that run was the 2003-04 campaign, with the Cowboys winning the East Region and reaching the 2004 Final Four in San Antonio.
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The University of Houston announced on Monday afternoon that head coach James Dickey is stepping down due to private family matters.
Dickey spent four seasons at Houston and owned a 64-62 record at the school while holding a career mark of 217-196. The Cougars only made one postseason trip during Dickey’s tenure as they advanced to the CBI quarterfinals last season.
“This has been a difficult decision to make. I continually preach to my players about being an everyday guy, and the balance of your personal and professional life is a major part of it. With that being said, I have a family matter that requires my time and energy, and I will regretfully step down from my current position at the University of Houston,” Dickey said in the release. “I am extremely appreciative of Mack Rhoades for the opportunity and for the value he brings professionally and personally. I cannot thank my coaching staff and our players enough for the experience and memorable moments over the past four years. The system of support set forth by our Athletic Department staff is world class, and I’m appreciative of every member of the Houston Athletics family. I would like to thank the Houston fans for their support through the years and greatly encourage them to continue their support of the program in the future.”
Houston Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades also commented on Dickey’s decision to step down.
“I am extremely grateful for Coach Dickey’s contributions to our basketball program and our Athletics Department, both on and off the court, and his decision to step down comes with great heartache for all involved,” Rhoades said. “Coach Dickey is not only a great person and coach but a great mentor for all of our student-athletes and entire staff. He made so many of us in our department better. No one has worked harder than Coach Dickey, and he leaves the Houston Men’s Basketball program in a much better place. He will be missed greatly by the entire Houston family, and we wish him and his family the very best.”
The Cougars finished 17-16 this season in the inaugural year in the American Athletic Conference. Houston defeated SMU in the quarterfinals of the AAC Conference Tournament before falling to eventual champion Louisville to end its season.
Danrad “Chicken” Knowles was a four-star forward, ranked No. 54 overall in the Class of 2012 by Rivals. Last season, he was expected to be an impact freshman for the Houston Cougars, in program’s final season of Conference USA play, however he was ruled academically ineligible and was forced to miss the entire 2012-2013 season.
Houston, now a member of the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, begins the season on Friday, and the eligibility status of the 6-foot-9 forward is still in question, according Joseph Durante of the Houston Chronicle. Knowles will sit out Tuesday night’s exhibition game against the University of St. Thomas.
UH officials said they would have no further comment, citing federal student privacy laws. It remains unclear whether the university will hear from the NCAA before Friday’s season opener against Texas State.
James Dickey lost leading scorer Joseph Young, who transferred to Oregon, but does return a talented front court that includes junior TaShawn Thomas and sophomore Danuel House. The addition of Baylor transfer L.J. Rose, who was granted immediate eligibility in August, takes a little bit of the sting away from losing Young, as he teams up with Jherrod Stiggers in the back court.
Houston hosts Texas State on Friday for a 9 p.m. start.