Brady Phelps, The Paisano

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Soon after UTSA’s men’s basketball team met a first-round exit in the Conference USA Tournament, Lynn Hickey relieved Head Coach Brooks Thompson of his responsibilities.

The Roadrunners (5-27, 3-15 C-USA) opened tournament play against the Florida Atlantic (FAU) Owls (8-24, 5-13 C-USA) in Birmingham, Alabama on Tuesday, March 8.

Despite getting out-rebounded all night, the Roadrunners managed to stay even with the Owls at 28 points apiece in the paint. But UTSA ultimately lost 82-58, allowing the Owls to shoot 49 percent from the field while hitting less than 40 percent of their own shots.

Christian Wilson left early in the game with an injury and was unable to return. As the second leading scorer and assist leader for the Roadrunners, Wilson’s absence was a major hindrance to the offense. Wilson also led the team in free throw attempts and steals and had the second highest defensive rebound total.

After trailing by as many as 11 in the first half, the Roadrunners cut the lead to two with free throws from Ryan Bowie; however, a last-second shot by FAU’s Marquin Botley stretched the lead to four at the break.

In the second half, UTSA was outscored 51-31. After a 13-2 run by the Owls, the Roadrunners trailed by double digits for the rest of the evening.IMG_3908

On Thursday, UTSA announced it was parting ways with Thompson. Thompson’s ten years of service makes him the second-longest tenured coach in program history.

Thompson amassed a 133-178 record over 10 seasons with UTSA and coached the team to a 27-65 since it joined C-USA in 2013. UTSA recorded one NCAA tournament appearance under Thompson in 2011 in which they beat Alabama State in the first round, but were later defeated by Ohio State in the second.

However, this brush with success was never replicated during Thompson’s term as head coach. For his last season, the team sported a dismal .156 winning percentage and an average scoring differential of 11.9 in favor of the opposing team.

The firing comes just two weeks after former football head coach Larry Coker insinuated to the San Antonio Express-News that his resignation was less than amicable.

IMG_3885In the case of Thompson, however, it is clear that Hickey wanted to take the program in a different direction.

Lynn Hickey and UTSA Athletics have begun a national search to find Thompson’s replacement.

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