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Help Wanted Sign Hangs At Rice And UH

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Aspiring college basketball coaches now have multiple jobs to pursue in the Bayou City after today’s announcement that University of Houston Head Coach James Dickey is stepping down from his position after four seasons.

A giant “Help Wanted” sign might as well hang over Houston with the men’s job at Rice University and the Cougars head women’s position also open.

Rice Head Coach Ben Braun resigned following the Owls last game at the Conference USA Tournament. Braun spent six seasons at Rice winning 63 games.

The University of Houston has been in the market for a head women’s coach after Todd Buchanan stepped aside back in December.

The Houston women’s program (6-25) and the Rice Owls (7-23) combined to finish just 13-48.

Dickey’s announcement came more as a surprise, labeled as a “private family matter” in a release from the Sports Information Office.

The Cougars finished 17-16 in their first season in the American Conference posting wins over Memphis, UConn and SMU.

“This has been a difficult decision to make,” Dickey said in the release. “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 finished his four year stint with a 64-62 record. A new coach at the UH would have a strong nucleus of talent if TaShawn Thomas, Danuel House and Danrad Knowles all return.

The American Conference comes as a blessing and a challenge, elevating the program’s schedule and opponents but requiring even better talent to compete. The opening of the Cougars’ new football stadium this fall will squarely put the onus on upgrading the aging Hofheinz Pavillion and the overall basketball facilities.

The Houston release states that a national search will begin immediately for Dickey’s replacement. The search will take place simultaneously with the process of finding a new women’s coach.

Mack Rhoades has served as the Houston Athletic Director since June 2009. Rice hired Joe Karlgaard as the school’s Director of Athletics on September 9th.

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