Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Royal Ivey interviewed for the open Texas head-coaching position on Sunday, sources told ESPN. The interview was held on Zoom.
Ivey was a key player on the Longhorns’ 2003 Final Four team, before embarking on a 10-year NBA career.
Ivey was an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks prior to his tenure with the Nets.
Texas Tech coach Chris Beard is widely considered the Longhorns’ top target to replace Shaka Smart, who left last week to become the Marquette coach. Beard’s Red Raiders lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament to Arkansas.
Ivey has strong support from some of Texas’ most notable basketball alumni, including Nets superstar Kevin Durant.
Smart accepted the head-coaching job at Marquette on Friday, ending days of speculation about his future in Austin, Texas. Smart’s six-year tenure with the Longhorns was a roller coaster right up to the final hill. He followed the Longhorns’ Big 12 conference tournament title — the lone banner Smart won in six seasons there — with a shocking upset loss to Abilene Christian in the first round of the NCAA tournament just seven days later.
ESPN staff writer Jeff Borzello contributed to this report.