One year ago today, the landscape of Texas Longhorns sports was a dark place. Mack Brown was talking up the team's chances despite still having the Hispanic Brick Tamland on the payroll, Augie Garrido had missed the postseason for the 2nd year in a row, and Rick Barnes was presiding over a dumpster fire that included losing his most promising returning player to Greece.
The popular belief amongst fans(including me) was that all 3 coaches would likely be out of work in 2014. Well, it's one year later, and we were mostly wrong. Based on surpassing expectations and a seemingly bright future - 2 chickens, 3 chickens, 4 chickens... - both Barnes & Garrido received contract extensions yesterday. Out of the three, only Mack Brown has lost his job in the last 365 days(though one could argue he's now in the position for which he was ultimately built). The lesson? We love drawing conclusions on incomplete data. The hypocrisy? My last sentence just did exactly what I'm complaining about. My glass house is full of rock-sized holes.
Neither Garrido nor Barnes received raises in their extensions beyond what was built into their previous contracts, so this isn't quite the vote of confidence some might believe it to be. Both extensions were done largely to help with recruiting; for example, without the extension Barnes couldn't legitimately tell a current recruit he'd be here 4 years from now as his contract only ran through a 2016 recruit's sophomore season. If the buyouts in the extensions follow the standard Texas contract(details have yet to be published) then it will cost UT less than a year's pay to let either coach go. Texas isn't in a Travis Ford situation with Barnes, if he falters this year then it's fairly easy financially to send him on his way. Steve Patterson could tell the players that Rick's off at a farm where he gets to shoot free throws with Tom Penders all day if he needs. As for Augie, there's a chance he decides to hang it up in a couple of years anyway, though opinions are divided on whether he'll retire or die in the dugout. (Side note: I'm not sure I want to reach the age where people openly speculate if I'll croak doing normal daily activities. If I get to the point where people are talking about me dying while playing Xbox 7, please send me to the farm with Rick Barnes.) I wouldn't be surprised to see Augie get a series of 2-year extensions for as long as he wants to keep coaching. Barring major letdowns, the basketball & baseball coaching situations seem to be settled for the near future.