In what may go down as a stroke of genius and one of the nicest moves a head coach could make for his oldest and his most decorated player and leader on his new basketball team, Oklahoma State basketball coach Brad Underwood announced the addition of Danny Henderson to the Cowboy coaching staff.
Henderson won over 700 games and four state titles as a high school coach in Texas, including a stay at Flower Mound Marcus High School, where he coached Cowboy standouts Marcus Smart and Phil Forte. So now Forte, who lost last season to injury after going down with a serious elbow issue in game three, will come back with his available fifth-year and play for a new college head coach while his former high school coach is on board as an assistant.
Henderson spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Boise State, and helped the Broncos win at least 20 games each season.
"Danny is a great fit for our program and a great fit for Oklahoma State," Underwood said. "I got to know him through the recruiting process with both Marcus Smart and Phil Forte, and he's a guy I love talking basketball with. Being with Leon Rice at Boise State, one of the great programs on the west coast, Danny was still able to keep his many recruiting ties in the state of Texas.
"He's a legend in high school basketball in the state of Texas. He's obviously known as a great coach from an Xs and Os standpoint, but is also a tremendous human being, as well. I value his basketball expertise as much as his friendship, and I think he's going to be a great fit here at Oklahoma State."
Henderson was responsible for defensive game plans and worked individually with the Boise State post players for the last three seasons. The Broncos went 21-13 in his debut season and advanced to the Mountain West title game for the first time. The program won a school-record 25 games in 2014-15. Henderson helped coach Bronco Forward James Webb III, who led Boise State in scoring (15.8), rebounding (9.1), blocks (20) and steals (44) en route to First-Team All-MWC recognition in 2015-16.
"I'm thrilled to be on board here with coach Underwood at Oklahoma State," Henderson said. "He impressed me with his commitment to relationships with the players, and you could tell there was a mutual love between he and his players at Stephen F. Austin, and that's what we're going to bring here. Relationships is what I've always been about. Coaching is building a culture based on hard work and love, and that's what Brad is about. I was so impressed with Brad when I talked to him because he knows exactly what he wants to do here and exactly how we're going to do it."
Known primarily for its prolific scoring offense, Boise State made its mark on the defensive end in 2014-15, holding a school-record nine opponents to fewer than 50 points. Included were five of the last 10 teams to face Boise State, which concluded the regular season allowing just 60.3 points per game. The mark ranked 35th nationally entering the NCAA Tournament, and helped provide a scoring margin of plus 10.5, the nation's 22nd-best mark.
In 2013-14, Bronco center Ryan Watkins averaged a double-double with 11.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Watkins led the NCAA in total offensive rebounds (170) and offensive rebounds per game (5.0). He became the third Bronco all-time to average a doubledouble for a season, and the first since 197172. Prior to coming to Boise State, Henderson went 708-172 (.805) in 25 years as a prep head coach in Texas, and was named 2012 MaxPreps National Coach of the Year while at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas.
Henderson, who spent the 2012-13 season as the head coach at Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas, combined to win four state championships and made seven semifinal appearances in the state tournament. Throughout his career, Henderson garnered several coaching awards, and was a finalist for Naismith National High School Coach of the Year. He was also named TABC Texas Coach of the Year, Texas Sportswriters Coach of the Year and Southwest United States Coach of the Year. He began his head coaching career at Liberty Hill High School near Austin, Texas, in 1988, and moved on to Peaster High School in 1993. He became the head coach at Marcus HS in 2009, before accepting the head coaching position at Duncanville.
Henderson earned a bachelor's in history and physical education, and a master's in education both from Austin College. He and his wife, Anna, have two children; Maddie and Sophie. Henderson's hiring is pending a standard human resources background check.