After serving as an assistant coach on the University of Texas at Arlington men’s basketball team for more than a decade, Cleburne’s Greg Young was officially announced Monday as the ninth head coach in program history.
Young fills the Mavericks’ head coaching vacancy after Chris Ogden, UTA’s previous head coach, joined Chris Beard’s coaching staff at the University of Texas last week.
A 35-year coaching veteran with experience at multiple levels and deep roots throughout the state of Texas, Young just completed his 12th season with UTA in 2020-21, where he has served as either an assistant or associate head coach for the program since 2009-10.
“I am so humbled and excited to be named the next head men’s basketball coach at UT Arlington,” Young said in a statement released by the university. “This is a dream come true, especially at an institution I love and have called home the last dozen years. I want to thank Interim President Teik Lim and AD Jim Baker for this opportunity. I have been very blessed to have worked for two great head coaches here at UTA in Chris Ogden and Scott Cross, and I can’t thank them enough for their friendship and support.
“There are so many people I would like to thank who have played an integral role during my time here at UTA, and I plan to personally thank each one in the near future. I get emotional when I think of all our former players here at UT Arlington and how much I love those men. They are so special to me and important to our program and this tremendous institution. Most importantly, I can’t wait to coach our players another day. They are the reason I love coming to work every day, and I look forward to the future of our program as should all Mav fans. Arlington is home — there is no place like home.”
Prior to the 2020-21 season, Young was voted as the top assistant coach in the Sun Belt Conference by his peers, as published by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman. Goodman also recognized Young as one of the top-5 assistants in the Southland Conference in 2010-11 when the Mavs were a league member.
“We didn’t need to look any further than one chair down the bench for our next head coach,” Baker said in a statement provided by UTA. “Coach Young deserves this opportunity, and I’m thrilled for him and the future of our program. He has the confidence of our players, and is well-respected and held in high regard by our alumni, campus leaders and supporters.”
In Young’s 12 seasons with the Mavericks, UTA has posted a record of 219-165 and advanced to the postseason four times: 2012 NIT, 2013 CIT, 2016 CIT and 2017 NIT. The Mavs were Southland Conference regular-season champions in 2011-12, reached the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship game in 2013 and earned the Sun Belt Conference regular season title in 2017. Additionally, UTA went to back-to-back Sun Belt Tournament championship games in 2018 and 2019.
A 1982 graduate of Cleburne High School, Young lettered for the Yellow Jackets in football, basketball and baseball. Young returned to Cleburne as an assistant on Jeff Cody’s coaching staff for the 1990-91 season.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Cody said. “Greg’s been well deserving of an opportunity like this for a long time. I’m so thrilled that he’s getting this opportunity. I’m thrilled for him and his parents. His daddy was a long-time coach and they’re so close. I’m so happy for all of them that he’s finally getting this opportunity that I think he deserves. He’ll do a great job because he’s a great coach, he has a great rapport with players and his players know they care about him, and that’s important.
“Greg is so humble and such a fine, young, Christian man. I’m elated for him. Greg and I talk very often. He’s just like our family. He grew up in our family. He’s like kinfolk to me. He was more than just a player, he’s part of our family.”
Cody said he’s glad to see a coach and person like Young rewarded with an opportunity like this.
“I think he’s been prepared for this for a long time,” Cody said. “He’s paid his dues. A lot of guys that pay their dues never get an opportunity like this and I’m so thrilled he’s going to get the opportunity to show what he’s capable of doing. It’s a hard deal this day in time to get those jobs because there’s so many contacts and connections that play a big part in it. But Greg’s pretty much earned all of this on his own, I believe. He is certainly prepared, I’ll tell you that for sure. He knows how to do things the right way.
Young has previous head-coaching experience as he registered an overall record of 168-139 in 10 seasons as a junior college head coach. During that time, he had 55 players sign with four-year institutions, including 26 with Division I schools.
“This is an absolutely phenomenal hire by UTA,” Texas A&M Coach Buzz Williams said in a statement provided by UTA. “Those in the state and nearby regions have known of the character and coaching acumen of Coach Young for decades. Soon the nation will know. There is not a better person and more prepared servant leader than he is. I am so excited to watch and learn from the success that will follow.”
Young joined UTA after a four-year stint as head coach and athletic director at Jacksonville College. He led his team to a 21-10 record in 2008-09, which was one of the best seasons in school history. The Jaguars spent the majority of the season in the NJCAA national rankings, and Young was honored following the campaign as the Region XIV Coach of the Year.
Young went to Jacksonville College from Texas State, where he served for five years as the Bobcats’ recruiting coordinator. During his tenure, the Bobcats played in the Southland Conference Tournament each season. He signed eight top-100 players, according to Texas Hoops, during those five seasons.
Prior to his tenure at Texas State, Young was the head coach at Hill College in Hillsboro for two seasons. He led the Rebels to consecutive Region V Tournament appearances, and in 1999-2000 led the team to the regional tournament championship game. That was the first time the school had reached the finals since 1974.
Young was also head coach at Lamar Community College in Colorado from 1994-98. Prior to that, Young was an assistant coach at Eastern New Mexico from 1991-94, where he helped lead the Greyhounds to the Lone Star Conference title in 1992 and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Young started his coaching career as an assistant at Texas Wesleyan from 1986-90.
After graduating from CHS, Young played basketball at Howard Payne University where he was a four-year letterman and team captain his senior season.