AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Texas Longhorns guard and current Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Royal Ivey reportedly interviewed for the UT men’s basketball head coaching vacancy Sunday, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

Shaka Smart left Texas for Marquette Friday after six seasons in Austin.

Ivey has the deepest connection to the Texas program out of any of the possible head coaching candidates. He was a lockdown defender with the Longhorns in the 2000s. He was on the 2003 Final Four team that lost to eventual national champion Syracuse.

Ivey had a 10-year NBA player career before becoming an NBA assistant coach in 2014. Ivey spent two seasons working as an assistant with Oklahoma City’s D-League team from 2014-16 before joining the Oklahoma City Thunder staff in 2016.

Ivey followed up his four-year stint in Oklahoma City with two years each with the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

In a statement on Saturday, Longhorns Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said:

“I’m so grateful for all Coach Smart did for Texas Basketball, our university community and our athletics department. I’ve enjoyed our time together, really appreciate the passion he has for his team and student athletes, and I learned a great deal from him during our many conversations. I will miss Coach Smart and his family and wish him the very best.”


Smart will officially be introduced as Marquette’s new head coach at a press conference Monday at 2 p.m.

Texas guard Royal Ivey (24) reacts to a foul call in the second half of their NCAA South Regional second-round game in Birmingham, Ala., Sunday, March 23, 2003. Texas won 77-67.(AP Photo/Frank Couch)