KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (utsports.com) -- Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has retained former Appalachian State University head coach Houston Fancher on UT’s full-time basketball staff. Fancher, whose resume includes more than 20 years of collegiate coaching experience—including 12 years as a head coach—will serve as Tennessee’s director of basketball operations.
The upcoming 2011-12 season will be Fancher’s third at UT, as he previously held the title of coordinator of video scouting and—under the appointment of athletic director Mike Hamilton—interim head coach during the national search that netted Martin.
“I’m excited about adding Houston to our staff,” Martin said. “He brings a lot to the table because he’s familiar with the university and has great relationships here.
“He has the trust and respect of our student-athletes, and as a former Division I head coach, he knows exactly what it takes to run a successful program.”
A native of Newport, Tenn., Fancher posted a 137-136 overall record at ASU. His tenure included Southern Conference North Division championships in 2003, 2007 and 2008.
He was named the 2003 SoCon Coach of the Year after winning the first of his three divisional crowns. Then in 2006-07, he was a mid-major national coach of the year finalist after leading Appalachian State to a school-record 25 wins, the San Juan Shootout championship—which included consecutive victories over Virginia, Central Florida and Vanderbilt—and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament.
In 2007-08, Fancher led the Mountaineers to a second consecutive division crown as well as another victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent—defeating Arkansas in North Little Rock. His triumphs over Vanderbilt and Arkansas represent Appalachian State’s only wins over SEC opponents in the program’s history.
Fancher recruited and coached more All-SoCon players than any other coach in Appalachian State history, and he also won more Southern Conference games than any other Mountaineers hoops coach. In total, 18 school records were set during Fancher’s tenure, and he also produced 15 players who continued their careers as professionals overseas.
In addition to their success on the court, Fancher’s squads also were presented with NCAA Public Recognition Awards in 2005-06 and 2006-07. The NCAA Public Recognition Awards honor programs that rank among the nation’s top 10 percent in their sport in Academic Progress Rate scores. The ASU men’s basketball program fell just hundredths of a percentage point shy of receiving the recognition for a third consecutive year in 2007-08.
Fancher began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Division III Maryville (Tenn.) College from 1988-92. He then compiled a 44-41 record as the head coach at North Greenville College from 1993-95 before taking a position as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt for the 1995-96 campaign.
From 1996-2000, Fancher worked as an assistant coach (1996-98) and associate head coach (1998-2000) at Appalachian State, and he was named that program’s 14th head coach following the 1999-2000 season.
Fancher received his undergraduate degree in Physical education in 1988 from Middle Tennessee and later earned a master’s degree in Educational administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.
He is married to the former Cathy Reagan of Jamestown, Tenn., who played basketball at Maryville College. The couple has two sons, Hayden and Ethan, and a 2-year-old daughter, Cameron.