EL PASO, Texas -- After days hours of speculation, UTEP will now be looking for their 21st head basketball coach in school history.
Rodney Terry on Tuesday afternoon confirmed what sources had told ABC-7 earlier in the day: He will leave the Miners to join new University of Texas coach Chris Beard's staff in Austin.
Terry tweeted that the decision came after "a significant amount of deliberation" and gives him the "opportunity to return home."
In a statement later Tuesday afternoon, UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter said he wanted to "thank Coach Terry and his staff for the work they have put in to build our program over the last three years,” Senter said. “We wish him the best...”
The University of Texas will have to pay UTEP a buyout of $500,000 per Terry's contract.
As ABC-7 reported in February, Terry had been awarded a one-year contract extension at UTEP, but it came with a $200,000 salary cut.
Terry, who coached as an assistant at Texas from 2002-2011, leaves the Miners after three seasons in which he compiled a record of 37-48.
After it was reported that former UT-Arlington head coach Chris Ogden would be joining Beard's staff at Texas, speculation immediately began that Beard would also look to add Terry to the bench.
Ogden and Terry are good friends dating back to their overlap as Texas assistants under Rick Barnes.
Meantime, Senter said the Miners "will begin a national search for our next basketball coach."
"In order to preserve the integrity of the search, we will not be making any additional comments until we have hired a new coach," Senter added. "We look forward to beginning a new chapter in our basketball program’s storied legacy.”
As far as potential candidates to replace Terry at UTEP, names to watch out for could be Abilene Christian head coach Joe Golding, Indiana Pacers assistant Greg Foster (UTEP alum), Baylor assistant Jerome Tang, or current UTEP assistants Kenton Paulino or Nick Matson.
Legendary UTEP point guard Tim Hardaway previously expressed an interest in coaching at UTEP during an interview on ESPN 600 El Paso, but he has no prior coaching experience.