Texas Hires New Women's Basketball Coach

Chris Dukes

Two-time National Coach of the Year Vic Schaefer has been named the Texas Women’s Basketball Head Coach, UT Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte announced Sunday. Schaefer, a Texas native who has spent 21 of his 35 years in coaching within the state of Texas and 27 years in the Southwest, becomes the fifth head coach in program history.

Schaefer spent the past eight seasons as the head coach at Mississippi State, where he led the Bulldogs to a 221-62 [.781] record and five NCAA Tournament berths, including two NCAA Championship Game appearances. Under his direction, Mississippi State won the program’s first SEC regular-season championship and SEC Tournament championship and made five consecutive appearances in the SEC Tournament Championship Game, tying the University of Tennessee's record for consecutive tournament final appearances.

As a head or assistant coach, Schaefer has been a part of one NCAA Championship, three NCAA Championship Games, four Final Fours, six Elite Eights and nine Sweet 16s.

“In looking for a new head women’s basketball coach, there was one name that continuously came up as the perfect fit for The University of Texas, and that was Vic Schaefer,” Del Conte said. “He’s a coach who knows the state of Texas and the national women’s college basketball landscape extremely well.

“We had great conversations with him, we’ve received incredible recommendations, and he’s just a tremendous person. Anyone who follows college basketball knows Coach Schaefer. He’s a proven winner, and I’m so fired up to have him and his family here at Texas!”

Schaefer’s last seven teams at Mississippi State won 20 or more games, including 30-win campaigns in three of the last four years. Under his leadership, the Bulldogs posted a school record for victories each season from 2014-18, capped by a nation-best 37-2 mark during the 2017-18 run to the NCAA Championship Game.

In 2019, Schaefer was the SEC Coach of the Year and the espnW National Coach of the Year. In 2018, he was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year and earned the same accolade from the USBWA, WBCA and College Sports Madness, in addition to being selected as the SEC Coach of the Year.

“I am humbled and honored to represent such a tradition-rich program, and truly grateful to Chris Del Conte and President Fenves for this incredible opportunity,” Schaefer said. “The University of Texas is steeped in so much pride and passion, built on years and years of success. It’s very special to me and I’m honored to be a part of it.

“Knowing what I know from 35 years of coaching and a lifetime in the state, the storied history of Texas Women’s Basketball is something very special to be a part of. I certainly feel really fortunate and just truly humbled to be entrusted with the opportunity to build on the years of success and help lead the Longhorns back where they belong – among the nation’s elite.”

During his time in Starkville, Schaefer mentored a pair of All-Americans in Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians, who finished their careers as two of the most decorated players in program history. McCowan was the 2019 SEC Player of the Year and a two-time WBCA All-American. Vivians was a 2018 Associated Press All-American and won the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the nation’s top shooting guard that same year.

“Coach Schaefer has a wealth of experience and knowledge,” Del Conte said. “He built Mississippi State into one of the nation’s premier programs in very short order, leading them to the NCAA Championship Game twice and the Elite Eight three times in the past three years. In that time, he earned National Coach of the Year honors twice.

“He also has won at the highest level as an assistant, serving as associate head coach at Texas A&M for nine seasons, including the 2011 National Championship team. Coach Schaefer has deep roots in Texas, is an Austin native and grew up in Houston, so we’re just so fortunate to have him as our new head coach.”

Schaefer’s success quickly translated to the stands, as Mississippi State has been one of the national leaders in attendance in each of the past seven seasons. The top-20 largest crowds in school history occurred during his time at the helm. In 2018-19, Mississippi State set program records for total attendance [143,578] and average attendance [8,446], which ranked fourth and fifth in the country, respectively. The Bulldogs were 118-17 [.874] inside Humphrey Coliseum during his tenure.

“I want to thank everyone at Mississippi State for eight wonderful years,” Schaefer said. “Thank you to the Bulldog Family for your loyalty and love of our program. We will always be grateful for our time in Starkville. I am driven to bring that same energy, exciting play and success to the Erwin Center in the fall and look forward to down the road when we’ll fill the brand-new Moody Center with excited women’s basketball fans for years to come! We can’t wait to start working with the team and to get everything going.”

In 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach, which also includes seven seasons at Sam Houston State, Schaefer has a career record of 301-172 [.636].

During the summer of 2019, he was tabbed an assistant coach for the USA Basketball women’s team at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, helping the team win the silver medal. That same summer, his Mississippi State squad represented Team USA at the World University Games in Naples, Italy, earning a silver medal at that event, as well. In 2007, he became the first associate head coach to be named head coach of the United States William Jones Cup Team, guiding the team to a bronze medal in Taipei, Taiwan.

Schaefer spent nine years as associate head coach to Gary Blair at Texas A&M. Nicknamed the “Secretary of Defense,” Schaefer’s teams consistently placed atop the Big 12 rankings in turnovers forced, steals and turnover margin. In 2011, the Aggies won the National Championship in the program’s first trip to the Final Four.

Schaefer was also part of Texas A&M squads that won two Big 12 Tournament titles [2010 & 2008] and the conference regular-season title in 2007.

Schaefer accompanied Blair to Texas A&M following a six-year stint as associate head coach at Arkansas from 1997-2003. During that run, he helped the Razorbacks to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four berth in his inaugural season.

Schaefer went to Arkansas after serving as head women’s coach at Sam Houston State from 1990-97. In 1996, he was tabbed the Southland Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Bearkats to their most wins in a decade [18]. During his first year with the program, he coached Sierena Autman to Southland Conference Player of the Year accolades.

A native of Austin, Texas, Schaefer served as a men’s assistant coach at Sam Houston State [1987-89] between stints as the assistant boys’ basketball coach and head tennis coach at Houston’s Milby High School. As a player, Schaefer was an all-state performer in basketball, football and baseball at Houston Lutheran High School before going on to play two seasons of collegiate basketball at Alvin Community College. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1984.

Schaefer and his wife, Holly, who played basketball at Arkansas State and later served as an assistant coach at UT Arlington, have twin children, Blair and Logan, both of whom graduated from Mississippi State during the 2017-18 year.

THE VIC SCHAEFER FILE

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Alma Mater: Texas A&M [1984]

Wife: Holly Schaefer

Children: Blair and Logan

COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Head Coach, Mississippi State [2012-20]
  • Associate Head Coach, Texas A&M [2003-11]
  • Associate Head Coach, Arkansas [2000-03]
  • Assistant Coach, Arkansas [1997-00]
  • Head Coach, Sam Houston State [1990-97]
  • Assistant Boys Basketball Coach, Milby High School in Houston [1989-90]
  • Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, Sam Houston State [1987-89]
  • Assistant Boys Basketball Coach, Milby High School in Houston [1985-87]

COACHING HONORS

  • 2019 espnW National Coach of the Year
  • 2019 SEC Coach of the Year [Associated Press & SEC Coaches]
  • 2018 Naismith National Coach of the Year
  • 2018 WBCA National Coach of the Year
  • 2018 USBWA National Coach of the Year
  • 2018 College Sports Madness National Coach of the Year
  • 2018 SEC Coach of the Year [Associated Press & SEC Coaches]
  • 2017 WBCA Region Coach of the Year
  • 2017 Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist
  • 2017 ESPY [Best Upset]
  • 2015 Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year & SEC Coaches’ Co-Coach of the Year
  • 2015 Naismith National Coach of the Year Semifinalist
  • 2009 BasketballScoop.com Assistant Coach of the Year
  • 1996 Southland Conference Coach of the Year
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