North Texas head basketball coach Tony Benford announced the addition of 30-year coaching veteran Dan O’Dowd to his staff.
“We are extremely excited to have Dan O’Dowd and his family join our North Texas family,” Benford said. “I’ve known Dan for over 20 years. He has a tremendous amount of coaching experience and has great recruiting connections throughout the state and internationally.”
O’Dowd recently spent 10 years, including the last eight as associate coach at Conference USA foe UTSA. He assisted with recruiting, scheduling and practice coordination in addition to on-the floor coaching duties.
“I am very excited to join coach Benford and his staff,” O’Dowd said. “I am looking forward to helping the North Texas men’s basketball program compete for conference championships. I want to help build a product that the community, alumni, and fans can be proud of.”
In his 10 years in the Alamo City, UTSA has registered the school’s first-ever NCAA postseason victory in any sport, captured one league championship, made two conference tournament title game appearances and recorded the most successful four-year stretch (76 wins) in two decades. More than 20 school records have fallen, while eight players have earned all-conference honors and three have been tabbed league freshman of the year.
“I pride myself on building relationships with student-athletes to help them achieve their goals on and off the court,” O’Dowd said. “Also I am looking forward to working under the new direction of Athletic Director Wren Baker.”
O’Dowd has established several international recruiting ties that have helped UTSA land key players, including three-time all-conference performer Jeromie Hill, a native of Cairns, Australia. In 2014-15, Hill capped a career that saw him set school records for games played (122), starts (122) and rebounds (842), while he finished in the program’s top 10 for field goals (t-2nd/637), points (4th/1,674), 3-pointers rebounds per game (8th/6.9) and free throws (10th/235). The forward picked up first-team All-Conference USA and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 11 honors after he was the only C-USA player to rank in the league’s top five for scoring and rebounding.
The 2010-11 season arguably was the most successful in 20 years, as UTSA captured the Southland Tournament Championship for the first time since 2004 and made the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance. There the Roadrunners registered the first NCAA postseason victory in any sport in the department’s history with a 70-61 first-round victory over Alabama State during the First Four on March 16 in Dayton, Ohio. That outcome gave UTSA its first 20-win season in 19 years and was part of the 76-win stretch from the 2008-09 through 2011-12 campaigns.
O’Dowd came to UTSA from Arizona State, where he served as an assistant coach for eight seasons under Rob Evans, now the associate head coach at North Texas. He helped Arizona State reach the 2003 NCAA Tournament, the program’s first NCAA appearance since 1995. The Sun Devils finished with a 20-12 record that season, defeating Memphis in the NCAA First Round before falling to eventual national finalist Kansas.
He helped tutor future NBA player Ike Diogu, the 2004-05 Pac-10 Player of the Year, a second-team All-American and the ninth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft (Golden State Warriors). Arizona State also advanced to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in 2002 and 2005. While at ASU, O’Dowd also coached NBA players Eddie House, the 1999-2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year and a member of the 2008 World Champion Boston Celtics, Mike Batiste, Awvee Storey and Tommy Smith.
Prior to his work at Arizona State, O’Dowd was an assistant coach under Evans at Mississippi from 1993-98. He was a key member of a staff that turned around the Rebels program, producing back-to-back NCAA appearances for the first time in school history. O’Dowd helped Mississippi capture two Southeastern Conference (SEC) West titles in 1997 and 1998. He coached Ansu Sesay, the 1997-98 SEC Player of the Year, at Mississippi.
O’Dowd spent two years (1991-93) as an assistant coach and assistant athletics director at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas He helped guide the Cougars to records of 21-10 in 1991-92 and 23-9 in 1992-93 as Barton County qualified for the regional tournament both years.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Lon Kruger at Kansas State from 1989-91. The Wildcats finished 17-15 and participated in the 1990 NCAA Tournament during his tenure.
O’Dowd was an assistant coach at Topeka (Kansas) High School from 1986-89. His three-year stint included a 20-3 record in 1986-87, an 18-4 mark in 1987-88 and a 20-3, Class 6A runner-up season in 1988-89.
O’Dowd married the former Ginger Dowell in June 2009 and the couple has two sons, Trey and Conner.
“Dan has great character and loyalty,” Benford added. He is a tireless worker who will bring a lot of energy and passion to our program that our players and staff will benefit from.”