Rob Lanier, former Siena College head coach and assistant at Texas, Florida, Virginia, Rutgers and St. Bonaventure, was named Texas associate head basketball coach Tuesday. The 42-year-old Lanier steps into the post vacated by Terry, who left the staff April 7 to take the head coaching position at Fresno State. Lanier, who was serving under Florida head coach Billy Donovan, said it was difficult to leave the Gators.
"It was a very difficult decision to leave The University of Florida," Lanier said. "Even though we were only here for four years, our family established a lot of roots here," Lanier said. "Working with Billy Donovan has been a great experience, and I can't thank everyone at Florida enough for the opportunity. I'm leaving a great friend and coach in Billy Donovan who I love and admire, and the only way this move happens is if I'm going to work with someone who I have great trust in. I wouldn't have been able to make this move without the trust I have in Rick Barnes.
"In a way, Dayo and I feel like we're coming home," Lanier added of his wife. "I'm sure that sounds strange since we were only there for two years, but that is how we feel. Our son Emory was born in Austin. Since the time we left Texas and started our family, we've always said if you could draw that perfect place to be as a family and have the quality of life we desire, it would be Austin and The University of Texas. It is that special a place for us. As hard as the decision was, we realized that if we let it pass by, it would have been one of our greater regrets down the road. It's a dream come true, and I'm anxious to join Rick, Russell Springmann and Chris Ogden and get to work."
Lanier spent four seasons with the Gators, helping them to a 99-44 mark and an Elite Eight appearance this season.
"Our entire coaching staff is ecstatic," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "From the time Rodney Terry left to take the job at Fresno State, everyone I talked to asked about the possibility of hiring Rob Lanier. The fact of the matter is we weren't sure we could get him here.
"He was here at Texas before when we were just getting started, and you can't put into words the effect Rob had on helping us build this program," Barnes continued. "We welcome Rob, his wife, Dayo, and their children, Emory and Kai, back into our basketball family and The University of Texas. Our staff is excited to work with Rob in continuing to improve our program."
Prior to his time at Florida, Lanier served as an assistant coach at The University of Virginia for two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07). He was the head coach at Siena College for four years (2001-02 to 2004-05) before coming to Virginia. During Lanier's four seasons at Siena, the Saints posted a 58-70 mark and participated in one NCAA Tournament and one NIT.
Prior to becoming the head coach at Siena, Lanier was an assistant coach at Texas for two seasons (1999-2001). During his previous time in Austin, the Longhorns recorded a 49-18 (.731) mark and advanced to a pair of NCAA Tournaments.
Lanier also served as a top-notch recruiter, helping to ink a class that included Brian Boddicker, Royal Ivey, Jason Klotz, Brandon Mouton and James Thomas. Prior to leaving for Siena, he also played a major role in the recruitment of star point guard T.J. Ford, who won National Player of the Year honors in 2002-2003.
Lanier received his first head coaching experience in the summer of 1995, when he led a group of American collegians on a tour of the Netherlands. He also coached summer All-Star teams in Italy (1996), Germany (1998) and Greece (1999 and 2000).
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Lanier graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. A four-year letterman with the Bonnies who scored 868 career points, he was a three-year starter and team captain during his senior season. Lanier earned Atlantic 10 Conference All-Freshman Team honors in 1986-87 and was named the team's Most Improved Player in 1988-89. A two-time scholar-athlete nominee, he went on to earn a master's degree from Niagara in educational counseling in 1993.