OFFICIAL: Forte joins UTRGV MBB staff

Photo Courtesy UTRGV Athletics

Following up on something that I mentioned earlier in today’s DAILY DIRT. UTRGV has officially announced the hiring of Phil Forte. Here’s the release:

 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt Figger announced on Monday the hiring of assistant coach Phil Forte, who was an assistant coach with future Western Athletic Conference opponent Sam Houston the last two seasons.
In his two seasons at Sam Houston, Forte helped his team to a 37-22 (.627) record, including a 24-12 (.667) mark in the Southland Conference (SLC).
He landed one of the top 15 recruits in the state of Texas while coaching four First Team All-SLC players, including 2020-21 SLC Player of the Year Zach Nutall and Freshman of the Year Bryce Monroe.
“I’ve known Phill since he was a freshman in high school. I recruited him and had the opportunity to build a real good relationship with him and his family,” Figger said. “I found him to be the hardest working kid I’ve ever seen work out and play. He was a heck of a college player and it’s translated over to the coaching ranks. He’s got strong ties and is well respected in Texas and he’ll be well respected in the locker room as well. We’re extremely fortunate and excited to have him as part of our program.”
Forte arrived at Sam Houston after two seasons as a graduate assistant at Saint Louis, where he helped his team to the 2019 A-10 Championship and NCAA Tournament. He also has experience running campus as the director of the Phil Forte Shooting and Ball Handling Camp in Dallas.
“I’m excited to join Coach Figger’s staff at UTRGV,” Forte said. “I’ve known him since he recruited me out of high school 10 years ago. He has a national name as a coach and I am very thankful for the opportunity to help contribute to the continued success he has had over the years.”
Originally from Flower Mound, Forte played at Oklahoma State University (OSU), where he was an All-Big 12 honoree in 2014-15 and 2016-17, an NABC and USBWA All-District Selection in 2014-15, an Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2013-14 and 2014-15, and the Big 12 6th Man of the Year and an Academic-All District selection in 2013-14.
Forte scored 1,746 points, the sixth-most in program history, including 926 in Big 12 play, the third-most in program history. He reached double-figures in scoring 95 times, the fifth most in program history, including 25 times in 33 games in 2016-17. Forte is one of only eight players in program history to average double-figures in scoring in at least four seasons at OSU. He’s also one of only eight players to record three seasons of at least 400 points. Forte hit 329 three-pointers along the way, a program record.
Forte was a superb ball-handler, averaging less than one turnover per game twice, 0.77 in 2012-13 and 0.90 in 2013-14, the two best marks in program history.
He also grabbed 164 steals, the seventh-highest total in program history, 81 of which came in Big 12 play, the fourth-highest total in program history.
Forte guided OSU to four NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2016-17, he averaged 13.3 points per game and led the NCAA in free-throw shooting at 95.5% (84-for-88), the fourth-best mark in a season in NCAA history.
Forte earned his Bachelor of Science in Recreational Management from OSU and went on to earn his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership in May 2019 from Saint Louis.
Forte attended Marcus High School, where he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Texas Class 5A State Tournament. He averaged 17 points in the state finals, including a game-high 24 to win the championship game. It was Forte’s second-straight championship. He was a two-time All-State Selection in both 2011 and 2012 and the CBS Sports High School Three-Point Contest Champion in 2012.

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