Days after leading the University of Houston to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992, Cougars coach Tom Penders has announced his resignation.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the announcement comes a day after a “positive” meeting between Penders and Houston athletic director Mack Rhoades.
Penders, 64, went 121-77 during his six-year tenure at Houston and was the first coach in school history to win at least 18 games in six seasons. He also became just the eighth coach to lead four different teams to the NCAA Tournament. Penders also coached George Washington, Rhode Island and Texas to the Big Dance.
Houston lost in the first round to Maryland, 89-77, on Friday night.
According to the Chronicle, Penders has been critisized for his team’s lack of consistency (though 18 wins in each of his six seasons seems to debunk that theory) and because he didn’t recruit enough local players.
It will cost Houston $500,000 to buy out the final two years of Penders’ contract. One coach who may be on Houston’s radar, according to the Chronicle, is former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie.
Penders’ name is likely to surface in the three college coaching jobs open in the New York area – Seton Hall, St. John’s and Fordham. His 36-year coaching tenure includes stints at Fordham and Columbia.