TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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Penders to coach Houston

Tom Penders was hired Tuesday to coach at the University of Houston, the once-powerful program that has not won an NCAA tournament game in 20 years.

Penders and the university agreed to a five-year contract, but terms were not finalized, officials said. Penders, a coach at Texas for 10 years, replaces Ray McCallum, who was reassigned March 8 after going 44-72 in four seasons.

Penders, 58, is best known for resuscitating Texas after his arrival in 1988 after successful stints at Tufts, Columbia, Fordham and Rhode Island. He led Texas to a 208-110 record and eight NCAA tournaments, including a regional final in 1990.

Penders is the seventh UH coach but the fifth since the revered Guy Lewis retired in 1986 after 30 seasons and five Final Four appearances. Pat Foster, who followed Lewis, took the Cougars to three NCAA tournaments and went 142-73 in seven seasons.

Since Foster, Alvin Brooks, Clyde Drexler and McCallum combined to go 117-195 with no tournament bids. The Cougars have not won an NCAA tournament game since the 1984 semifinal.

Penders resigned from Texas in 1998 after his second losing season with the Longhorns. The move came amid a rift with some prominent players and a lawsuit that accused Penders of being involved in the public release of a player’s grades. The suit was settled when Texas agreed to pay $7,500 in legal fees and admitted no wrongdoing.

Penders moved on to George Washington but resigned in 2001 citing “burnout” following allegations of players making unauthorized long-distance calls. He has worked as a broadcast analyst since.
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