Matt Wallis has resigned as head coach of The University of Texas at Tyler men's basketball team to pursue other coaching opportunities.
As the first head coach in UT Tyler's history, Wallis put together a four-year record of 36-63. In Coach Wallis's second year, his most successful at UT Tyler, the team finished in second place in the American Southwest Conference with a record of 13-12 overall and 13-9 in conference play. Three of that season's loses were to Division I programs.
"Matt came to UT Tyler five years ago to take on the monumental task of building a new NCAA men's basketball program from scratch," said Dr. Howard Patterson, assistant vice president for student affairs and athletics. "He did a solid job of getting the program started and gaining respect for UT Tyler in the American Southwest Conference."
Continued Patterson, "The University is grateful for the work Matt has done to bring the program to where it is today. We wish Matt nothing but the best in his career as a collegiate basketball coach. He will be successful."
Wallis's tenure at UT Tyler was marked by some of the toughest non-conference schedules in NCAA Division III, with the Patriots playing eight games against Division I opponents during the last four seasons. Against non-scholarship schools, Wallis put together a record of 36-53.
During the past four years, UT Tyler's teams have been unable to advance to the conference or NCAA tournaments due to the provisional membership status required of all new NCAA members.
"Starting the program at UT Tyler and working with these student-athletes over the past four seasons has been a great honor," said Wallis. "I am going to pursue other coaching opportunities, but I will always remember my time at UT Tyler with fondness and I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with such great students and fellow staff members."
Prior to coming to UT Tyler in 2002, Wallis served as head boys' basketball coach at Class 2A Tom Bean High School, leading the Tomcats to their first post-season win in eleven years. Wallis also served as first assistant coach for the Montana State University women's basketball program in 2001-2002, helping MSU to a Big Sky Conference championship that season.
Wallis began his career at Austin College, where he was a captain and three-year letterman for the Kangaroos.
Wallis's resignation is effective immediately and a national search for a new head coach will begin Tuesday. The University plans to have the new head coach in place by May 1.
Assistant coach Larry Jones will handle the day-to-day affairs of the team until the new head coach is named. Wallis will assist with the transition to a new coach.
UT-Tyler Sports Information Office
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