John Hoover

On threshold of Final Four, two Sooner assistants take head coaching jobs in Texas

On threshold of Final Four, two Sooner assistants take head coaching jobs in Texas
Oklahoma assistant coach Steve Henson has accepted the head coaching job at UTSA. Another OU assistant, Lew Hill, has accepted the head coaching job at UT Rio Grande Valley.

Oklahoma assistant coach Steve Henson has accepted the head coaching job at UTSA. Another OU assistant, Lew Hill, has accepted the head coaching job at UT Rio Grande Valley.

HOUSTON — Nearly on the eve of the Final Four, two University of Oklahoma assistant basketball coaches are apparently leaving for head coaching jobs.

Sooner aides Steve Henson and Lew Hill will be the new hoops CEOs at Texas-San Antonio and Texas-Rio Grande Valley, respectively.

Both coaches will stay with the team through Saturday’s national semifinal against Villanova and, if the Sooners win, Monday’s national championship game. OU and Villanova tip off at 5:09 p.m. Saturday.

Hill didn’t do interviews during the Final Four media sessions at NRG Stadium on Thursday, and Henson declined to confirm or deny his involvement with the UTSA job. OU head coach Lon Kruger later confirmed to The Franchise that they have accepted the jobs.

It won’t affect the Sooners’ preparation for Villanova or the North Carolina-Syracuse winner, but it will have an impact on the OU program. Henson has been a player or assistant under Kruger for 25 years, and Hill is regarded as one of the staff’s top recruiters.

“Just locked in on practice and trying to win,” Henson said. “This is an exciting time. Not something I’ve ever been a part of as a player or coach. Only a couple guys in that locker room that have been. Coach Kruger has, and Shep have. But it’s a big deal. All of our focus right now is on beating Villanova.”

John Hoover

Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

More in John Hoover

John E. Hoover: Why did Sooners need this kind of halftime ‘coaching’ to survive at K-State?

John E. HooverOctober 23, 2017

Week 9 Franchise Heisman Watch: We can all agree on something

John E. HooverOctober 23, 2017

John E. Hoover: Mike Boynton’s home run hire of Scott Sutton is a shot in the arm for Oklahoma State

John E. HooverOctober 22, 2017

John E. Hoover: Cowboys bring nation’s No. 1 offense and an impressive winning streak to Austin

John E. HooverOctober 21, 2017

John E. Hoover: Worried about Sooners blowing double-digit leads? Stoops figured it out; so will Riley

John E. HooverOctober 21, 2017

The Franchise