Thomas Henderson, a high school basketball coach for 10 years, will begin his first season as an assistant coach for the University of St. Thomas men’s basketball team
. His first time coaching at the college-level, Henderson is looking forward to working with college athletes.
“The student athletes have more of a grasp of basketball,” Henderson said. “They already have an idea of who they are and what they want to accomplish. I want us to be highly successful, and I am here to add on to what they have already started.”
With only one losing season on record, Henderson was the head coach for five years at John H. Reagan High School in Houston. He was integral in taking the Bulldogs from a 10-20 record to four winning seasons and four state playoff appearances, and he was awarded Coach of the Year for the 2011-2012 season. A defensive-minded coach, Henderson uses defense as a tool to reach athletes on multiple levels.
“Defense creates mental toughness and comradery among the guys,” Henderson said. “It teaches success and gives them tools to face adversity. Those guys seem like they are already a family and they welcomed me with open arms.”
Leading the welcome was senior point guard Travis Lampley
, who Henderson had previously coached at Reagan. The family atmosphere and closeness of UST is what Henderson said initially attracted him to St. Thomas. He is ready and eager to begin working with the Celts.
“I’m excited to do what I love and what I am passionate about: basketball,” Henderson said. “I’m so thankful to Coach Smith and the administration at St. Thomas for allowing me this opportunity to get my foot in the door. It’s a dream come true.”
From 2006-2007, Henderson led the Wheatley High School Wildcats, in Houston, to the second round of the playoffs and was a former Coach of the Year at Manor High School, just outside of Austin, Texas.
Henderson graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, in 2002. He earned a master’s in educational administration from Concordia University in 2012. He taught history, health and physical education during his time as a high school coach.
"I have known Coach Henderson for over 10 years and he brings a wealth of experience to our basketball program,” said Head Coach Todd Smith
. “After coaching in Texas and Houston high schools for many years, he has an extensive network of friends and colleagues. His knowledge of the game will also be a welcome addition to UST basketball.”
The team will have its first scrimmage
against San Jacinto College at 3 p.m. on Oct. 19 in Jerabeck Gym.