TCU

TCU’s Del Conte declines to say whether Johnson will return next season

TCU coach Trent Johnson talks to an official about a call in Thursday night’s game against West Virginia at the Big 12 tournament. The Frogs’ season ended in an 86-66 loss. TCU was playing in the quarterfinal game after beating Texas Tech on Wednesday.
TCU coach Trent Johnson talks to an official about a call in Thursday night’s game against West Virginia at the Big 12 tournament. The Frogs’ season ended in an 86-66 loss. TCU was playing in the quarterfinal game after beating Texas Tech on Wednesday. AP

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte declined to say if Trent Johnson would be the basketball coach next season, saying he planned to meet with the coach this weekend to go over the season, as usual.

“I’m not going to discuss any of that stuff today,” Del Conte said after the Horned Frogs were eliminated at the Big 12 tournament to finish a 12-21 season, six games worse than a year ago. “At the end of the day, that’s premature. The game just got over. I’ll meet with Trent over the weekend, like we normally do, and move on from there.”

Johnson is 50-79 in four years at TCU following Thursday night’s 86-66 loss to West Virginia in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. The Frogs won their opening-round game on Wednesday, defeating 19-win Texas Tech.

Tough year. It’s been a tough year. That’s all you can say.

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte

“I think we had expectations, high expectations, considering where we were last year,” Del Conte said. “This year, we got hit by injuries. Tough year. It’s been a tough year. That’s all you can say.”

Under Johnson, TCU has won only eight regular season conference games. Its 8-64 league record includes a 1-35 mark in road games. In the conference tournament, the Frogs are 2-4 and have never entered higher than the No. 9 seed.

Johnson has two years remaining on his contract, Del Conte said.

TCU’s previous coach, Jim Christian, was 56-73 in four years before leaving for Ohio University. The coach before him, Neil Daugherty, was 75-108 in six years at TCU.

Trent Johnson is 50-79 in four seasons at TCU. TCU has finished with 20 or more losses in four of the past six seasons.

Del Conte gave Johnson the benefit of the doubt for TCU’s lack of investment in basketball historically. An $80 million renovation of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum resulted in the new Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, which opened in December.

“This is an incredible challenge to get our program to a place where we need it to be,” Del Conte said. “I think about where we came from, what we’re trying to build. We’ve had all the investment to build a new facility — we just opened it up. There are a lot of things that we have not had over a long period of time. The pieces are finally getting in place for us to move forward.”

I think he’s doing a good job considering all the things being considered, all the things that have happened.

Chris Del Conte, on Trent Johnson

Asked what kind of job he thinks Johnson is doing, Del Conte said, “I think he’s doing a good job considering all the things being considered, all the things that have happened.”

But he added, “Your record is your record. You cannot hide from that. I think Bill Parcells said it — your record is who you are. But there are so many other things that go into it besides just your record when you think about the program and what we’re trying to do and to understand that.”

Asked if he could say Johnson would be the coach next year, Del Conte repeated, “We are not having any of those discussions today.”

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

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