By Chris Mascaro
March 13, 2014

Ben Braun (Joe Murphy/Getty Images) Ben Braun was 63-128 (.330) in six seasons leading the Owls. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Following a first-round loss to North Texas in the Conference USA tournament earlier this week, Rice men's basketball coach Ben Braun stepped down on Thursday, according to Joseph Duarte of The Houston Chronicle.

The Owls finished the season last in the conference at 2-14 and were 7-23 overall. They lost their last eight games and 18 of their last 20.

"I thought it was in our program's best interest that I step down as Rice's head basketball coach," Braun said. "I want to thank Rice University for the opportunity to coach our team for the last six years. The players, coaches and staff have worked diligently to represent Rice with class and dignity. I am proud we were able to take our program to a postseason tournament as well as achieve academic excellence off the court. I believe both the returning players and those currently signed for next year will form the nucleus for a very solid future. The team will always have my support."

Braun, 60, joined Rice after 12 seasons at Cal and 11 at Eastern Michigan. He won the 1999 NIT with the Golden Bears and took them to five NCAA tournaments.

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