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Tidwell Named Women's Basketball Coach at Texas Pan-American
Courtesy: WAC
The University of Texas-Pan American Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that Larry Tidwell, who had been the head coach at Lamar for the last six seasons, is the new Broncs women’s basketball head coach.

"Coach Tidwell understands the purpose of preparing student-athletes for excellence in life, a quality I value strongly," UTPA Director of Athletics Chris King said. "With his energy and enthusiastic attitude about becoming the next Broncs women’s basketball head coach, his commitment to the campus and Rio Grande Valley communities, and his relationship with high school coaches throughout the state of Texas, I have no doubt that the women’s basketball program will meet our goals of graduating student-athletes, being active in the community and hanging WAC championship banners."

Tidwell took over a Lamar team that hadn’t had a winning record since 1994-95 and recorded a winning record every year, including four seasons of 20 or more wins and five seasons of 19 or more wins. He has reached double-figures in conference wins five times, always finishing at least .500.

In 2010, Tidwell led the Cardinals to a 26-8 record (13-3 Southland), the second-highest win total in program history, and the NCAA Tournament after winning the Southland Conference Co-Championship and the Southland Conference Tournament Championship, en route to earning Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year honors.

Tidwell has proven his ability both on and off the court, earning a chance to be Lamar’s director of athletics in 2010-11. Tidwell had a successful year as an administrator, with an emphasis on the student-athlete, on the fields and courts and in the classroom, while also leading the women’s basketball team to a 25-8 record and a spot in the WNIT. Tidwell stepped down from the post at the end of the season so he could focus on coaching, but remained executive assistant to the athletic director in 2011-12 before becoming a special assistant to the President in 2012-13.

This past season, Tidwell led the Cardinals to a 22-11 record and a spot in the Women’s Basketball Invitational quarterfinals.

Tidwell was the winningest head coach in Lamar history, going 128-66 (.660) overall, including a 66-32 (.673) record in conference play. That’s an average record of 21-11, including 11-5 in conference play.

He has shown off his recruiting prowess time and again, as 14 of his 18 recruiting classes have been ranked in the Top 50, including two at Lamar.

He is credited with helping sign, develop and coach 25 student-athletes who have gone on to play professionally, including WNBA players Sandora Irvin (Phoenix/San Antonio/Chicago), Natasha Lacy (Detroit/Tulsa/Los Angeles), Adrianne Ross (San Antonio) and Danielle Crockrum (San Antonio/Utah).

"What impressed me most about Coach Tidwell was not that he has never had a losing season in his career, which is impressive, but rather how much he wants to coach in the Valley and at Pan Am," UTPA President Dr. Robert S. Nelsen said. "He believes in the Valley’s future and in Pan Am’s future. He will build a great program where our students will flourish both athletically and academically. I know that this is the wrong sport analogy, but Pan Am hit a home run in getting Coach Tidwell."

Prior to joining Lamar, Tidwell spent eight years as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at TCU in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs made the NCAA Tournament in each of his final seven seasons, including five trips to the second round. They also won the 2001 WAC Tournament Championship and the 2003 and 2005 Conference USA Tournament Championships.

"I am very grateful for this opportunity to be a part of building the women’s basketball program at UTPA," Tidwell said. “With the outstanding leadership displayed by Dr. Robert S. Nelsen and Director of Athletics Chris King, I know our goals can be obtained."

Tidwell began his coaching career at the high school level in Texas, leading Frisco High School from 1978-83 and Schulenburg High School from 1984-92. After spending six years as an assistant coach at Baylor, Tidwell returned to high school for one year, as the head coach and athletic director at Mexia High School. In 11 seasons at Texas high schools, Tidwell made 10 playoff appearances and went 284-85 (.770).

Tidwell also served on the board of directors of the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) and the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC). In 1991, he coached in the TGCA All-Star game.

In 2008, Tidwell was the recipient of the TGCA's prestigious Margaret McKown Distinguished Service Award for his then 32 years of service to the organization. He also has worked as assistant director of the TABC summer camps for girls and was named "Teacher of the Year" on two occasions. He was honored as Schulenburg's "Citizen of the Year" in 1991.

During the 1971-1972 academic year, Tidwell played freshman football and basketball at TCU before transferring to Austin College, where he earned three letters in football, three in baseball and two in track and field. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the school in 1975 and 1976, respectively. In July 2004, he was inducted into the Austin College Hall of Fame, and the year before that, he earned a place in the Sanger High School Hall of Fame. In July 2010, Tidwell was honored with the distinguished Kedric Couch - Austin College Alumni - Coach of the Year Award.
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