93 / 70
      95 / 73
      92 / 69

      UTPA Releases Both Men's And Women's Basketball Coaches

      Texas-Pan American men's basketball head coach Ryan Marks and women's basketball coach Denny Downing have both been released by UTPA, as the school will not renew their expiring contracts.

      Marks, hired in 2009 after several successful seasons at Division II St. Edwards University in Austin, went 39-89 with a Great West Conference mark of 16-26 in 4 seasons at UTPA, increasing his win total each year, from six in 2009-2010, to 16 this season, the most wins by a Pan-Am team since 2003-2004. Ryan led the program during an extremely difficult period," UTPA Athletic Director Chris King said in a prepared statement. "I appreciate and thank him for his efforts, but after careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to make a change in leadership. The decision comes after a thorough assessment of our current program and my expectations for the future. Marks, who was present at the Monday afternoon press conference to address the changes, had a statement of his own: When I got here four years ago, the challenge was to take us out of the probation phase and improve performance on the court, as well as in the classroom. Our staff has tried to do that to the best of our ability and I feel good about where things can go forward from here as UTPA basketball heads into the WAC. We TMve made some wonderful friends during our time here and will always be appreciative for the support that we TMve had from the community.

      Downing compiled an overall record of 51-68 and a Great West Conference mark of 21-21 over four years. "After a careful review of our women's basketball program, I feel it is in the best interest of the program to seek new leadership," King said. We wish Denny all the best and thank him for his efforts with the Broncs women TMs basketball program the past four years.

      Marks' firing, which CBSsports.com college basketball reporter JeffGoodman termed "ridiculous" and "shocking" along with noting the team's 3.1 GPA, comes just as the Broncs are making the transition from the Great West Conference into the Western Athletic Conference this summer.