March 24, 2014
HOUSTON - University of Houston Men's Basketball Head Coach James Dickey announced Monday he will step down from his current position due to private family matters.
In his four years with the Houston family, Dickey elevated the program across many facets while making the transition to the American Athletic Conference. The 2013-14 season saw the Houston program defeat three top-25 teams, its most wins over ranked opponents since the 1983-84 season, while recording a program-best APR of 930 and setting records for fall and semester team GPAs.
"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. "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."
Dickey holds a career record of 217-196 with a mark of 64-62 while at Houston, including one postseason berth as the Cougars advanced to the 2013 CBI quarterfinals. The 2012-13 Houston team finished the season with a 20-13 record, the program's first 20-win season since 2008-09.
"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," said Houston Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades. "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."
Dickey mentored three All-Conference honorees in his time at Houston, including current junior TaShawn Thomas, who earned 2013-14 Second Team honors from The American and 2012-13 First Team honors from Conference USA. Under Dickey's leadership, current sophomore Danuel House was named the 2012-13 Conference USA Freshman of the Year and eight student-athletes earned All-Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll honors for academic success.
A national search for Dickey's replacement will begin immediately and will be handled internally by the Houston Department of Athletics. For the integrity of the search, candidates for the position will not be disclosed by the department other than the announcement of the program's new head coach. The search will take place simultaneously with Houston's national search for its Women's Basketball head coach.
"The next Houston Men's Basketball coach will inherit a very promising situation thanks to the tireless efforts of Coach Dickey and his staff," Rhoades said. "Coupled with the talented young men returning, facility upgrades in progress and membership in one of the premier basketball conferences in the nation, we feel this is a very attractive opportunity."