TCU Extends Contract of Neil Dougherty
June 25, 2004
TCU and head men's basketball coach Neil Dougherty have agreed on a multi-year contract extension, Athletics Director Eric Hyman announced today. Specific terms were not released per university policy.
"TCU recognizes the tremendous strides made by Coach Dougherty and his staff both on and off the court," said Hyman. "Neil and his staff have done a remarkable job in building a foundation for our men's basketball program that reflects the true values of TCU. The competitive strides, the huge improvements in the classroom and positive role modeling of our young men are reflections of the impact our basketball staff is having. The university is confident our program is headed in the right direction," continued Hyman. "We know with Neil's leadership and coaching expertise, TCU will be a nationally-prominent basketball program that wins with class."
Dougherty, the 18th head basketball coach in TCU history, embarks on his third season at the helm of the Horned Frogs' program in 2004-05. The 43-year-old coach is coming off a year in which his Frogs' more than doubled their league win total from the previous season, recorded the program's first victory over a top-10 team since 1990 and grabbed their first conference tournament win since 2000.
"I feel like we are headed in the right direction as well," said Dougherty. "I feel good about the confidence that Eric Hyman and the university have shown. We knew this program would take some time to build, but we believe we now have a solid foundation. That foundation gives us a chance to win games as well as to represent the university in the right way."
Dougherty owns an overall record of 21-36 in two seasons with TCU, including a 10-22 mark in the highly competitive Conference USA. However, the progress made under the Dougherty regime must be measured by looking at more than just an overall win-loss record. In 2003-04, the Horned Frogs went 7-9 in Conference USA, which was one of just four leagues in the nation to receive six bids to the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The Frogs' win total was their most in league play since joining C-USA, and the three conference road victories matched the second most by the program in the past 12 years.
TCU's statement game came on Feb. 17 in front of a national television audience as part of "Super Tuesday" action on ESPN2, as TCU recorded a monumental 71-46 victory over the 10th-ranked Louisville Cardinals. The Horned Frogs led the game wire-to-wire and had a double-figure advantage nearly the entire second half. It was just the fifth win over a top-10 team ever enjoyed by the TCU program. In the contest, TCU held Louisville to just 46 points, the lowest output by a Rick Pitino-coached team since Pitino's Boston University squad was defeated 48-46 by Canisius in 1982.
TCU also became just the third team in the past three seasons, and the only one not rated in the nation's top 10, to win a game against Marquette in Milwaukee. The Horned Frogs' 85-79 shocker over the Golden Eagles, who reached the Final Four in 2003, came in front of 15,424 partisan fans. The Horned Frogs had Marquette's number again in March, ousting the Golden Eagles in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament with a 64-62 victory. Not only was the Frogs' win the first for the program in a league tourney since 2000, it was the 1,000th win in school history.
On Dec 1, 2003, TCU set an all-time arena attendance record when 7,267 fans crammed into Daniel-Meyer Coliseum to watch the Horned Frogs play the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks. In the first-ever visit to DMC by a No. 1 team, the Horned Frogs trailed at halftime by just one point, 39-38, to a team that ultimately advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight.
Another tangible sign of Dougherty's impact on TCU basketball is the $6 million Ed & Rae Schollmaier Basketball Complex, the newest Horned Frog athletics facility. The 22,000-square-foot complex, which sits southwest of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, features office space for the basketball staffs, two NCAA regulation practice courts, a meeting room, a weight room, a lobby and courtyard.
Dougherty also brought exposure to TCU by claiming a "national championship" of his own following the 2003-04 season, when he was named the best-dressed coach in college basketball by CollegeInsider.com. Dougherty was the first Runway to the Fashionable Four rookie to win the 65-person event in his inaugural appearance.
Named to the position on March 25, 2002, Dougherty previously served as an assistant coach at Kansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Drake. He began his coaching career as the head coach at his alma mater, Cameron University, from 1984-88.