For the first time in a while, Texas State will look for a new leader for its men’s basketball program.
After seven years as head coach and a 92-107 overall record, Doug Davalos and the Bobcats parted ways. Davalos’ contract ran out at the end of the season and won’t be renewed.
“I am very appreciative of what Coach Davalos has done,” Texas State Director of Athletics Dr. Larry Teis said in a statement. “Davalos inherited a tough situation when he came to Texas State. Recruiting three years in three different leagues is not easy. The decision to not renew his contract was mutual.”
Davalos took over at Texas State following a six-year reign by Dennis Nutt that left the program in shambles.
When Nutt resigned in 2006, the Bobcats had just wrapped up a disastrous 3-24 season where they only beat two Division-I programs (Texas-Pan American and Texas-San Antonio). On top of that, Nutt’s failure to hold his team accountable in the classroom led to heavy sanctions by the NCAA.
“Part of the reason I’m here is that I have a proven track record of being in a challenging situation and providing tangible results,” Davalos said upon his hiring on April 6, 2006. “I know we can do big things here.”
Davalos quickly improved the academic standing of the program, then went to work on the product the fans see on the court.
Texas State won three times as many games in Davalos’ first year as it did in Nutt’s last, added four to that total in 2007-08 and advanced to the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time since 2004-05 after a 14-15 record in the 2008-09 regular season. That trip to Katy ended in heartbreak for the Bobcats, as they let a double-digit lead in the second half slip through their fingers in a first-round loss to Nicholls State.
In Davalos’ next two years, Texas State returned to the Merrell Center and again, couldn’t make it past the semifinals. Southeastern Louisiana knocked the Bobcats out in 2009-10 and McNeese State ended their season in 2010-11.
Many felt Davalos’ job was in jeopardy following the 2011-12 season when he went 13-17 and ripped the SLC and its officials after a season-ending loss to Sam Houston State, but Teis brought him back under a one-year deal.
Texas State didn’t find much success during the this regular season as it struggled with a tougher schedule, posting two losing streaks of five or more games. That changed, however, in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament when junior forward Joel Wright took over and led the Bobcats to an upset win over second-seeded University of Denver in the quarterfinals, which was Davalos’ only win over a program in the Top 100 of the Ratings Percentage Index. Texas State saw its season end the next night in a loss to New Mexico State.
“We wanted to play as hard as we can for our coaches,” said Wright, who earned All-WAC Tournament honors. “We know we don’t want to play for no other coaches.”
Wright and his teammates must now face the uncertainty of playing for a new coach, whenever that person is hired. Texas State retained the services of Parker Executive Search to help with the hire, the same firm it used in 2011 when looking for a head football coach.