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Joey Wright on Longhorns' shortlist

AS we told you they would three weeks ago, the Adelaide 36ers and coach Joey Wright "officially" parted company this week but the NBL championship winner and three-time Coach of the Year is believed earmarked for the head coach role at University of Texas Longhorns.

Wright, 51, had two years to run on his five-year deal with the Sixers but he and the club "mutually agreed" to part company this week.

Three-time Adelaide NBL championship coach Phil Smyth and longtime Wright assistant Kevin Brooks variously since have been linked to the 36ers' job.

And some social media outlets were connecting-the-dots to suggest former Sydney Kings coach and longtime Jeff Van Groningen associate Andrew Gaze might be a candidate. 

Van Groningen, who helped secure Gaze as Kings coach for three years, now is Adelaide's general manager of basketball. But Gaze today confirmed he had not had any conversations about the role.

Wright, who steered Adelaide into two grand final series during his seven-year tenure and reached the 500-games coached milestone in his last match against the Wildcats in Perth, was a star player at University of Texas in his heyday.

He was the Longhorns' point guard from 1988 through 1991.

With teammates Lance Blanks and Travis Mays, the trio were dubbed the "BMW Scoring Machine" during the 1989-90 season, Wright noted for his hustle plays and jump shooting which contributed greatly to the "Scoring Machine".

Texas won the Southwest Conference tournament that season and advanced to the Elite Eight in the 1990 NCAA Men's Division I Tournament.

DON'T SAY WE DIDN'T TELL YA! Part of our exclusive report from three weeks ago.

Originally recruited to the NBL by Geelong Supercats as an import in 1995 and 1996, Wright returned to coach the Bullets where he steered the club to a championship in (2007), in a season where Brisbane also produced a 21-game winning streak.

He is a three-time NBL Coach of the Year (2004, 2007, 2017).

Wright is believed to be on a short list of candidates for the University of Texas job and as a former star player in that program, there is much of the "feel good" nature to the prospect of his appointment.

He was unavailable for formal comment today. 

Feb 27

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