A 27-year coaching veteran, Dan O’Dowd is in his fifth season as associate head coach and his seventh year overall as the top assistant coach at UTSA. He assists with recruiting, scheduling and practice coordination in addition to on-the-floor coaching duties. O’Dowd has established several international recruiting ties that have helped UTSA land key players, including two-time all-conference performer Jeromie Hill, a native of Cairns, Australia.
In his six years in the Alamo City, UTSA has registered the school’s first-ever NCAA postseason victory in any sport, captured one league championship, made two conference tournament title game appearances and recorded the most successful four-year stretch (76 wins) in two decades. Twenty school records have fallen under his watch, while eight players have earned all-conference honors, three have been tabbed Southland Freshman of the Year (Devin Gibson, 2008; Melvin Johnson III, 2010; Jeromie Hill, 2011) and six have garnered Southland All-Academic Team accolades, including three Southland Student-Athlete of the Year honorees.
Last season, O’Dowd helped guide UTSA to an 18-14 record and its fifth consecutive berth in the Southland Conference Tournament. The Roadrunners recorded a 10-6 league ledger, their most conference wins since 2004-05, which resulted in a third-place finish in the West Division. Hill was tabbed Southland Student-Athlete of the Year and second-team all-conference and NABC All-District 23, while Johnson III and Kannon Burrage earned third-team and honorable mention accolades, respectively.
The 2010-11 campaign arguably was the most successful in 20 years. He helped lead UTSA to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship for the first time since 2004 and to the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, where it registered the first NCAA postseason victory in any sport in the department’s 30-year history with a 70-61 first-round victory over Alabama State during the First Four on March 16 in Dayton, Ohio. That win gave UTSA its first 20-win season in 19 years. The Roadrunners recorded their second consecutive 4-1 start — a school record — and their fourth straight 4-0 start at home. UTSA tied for third in the Southland West Division and fifth overall to qualify for its fourth straight Southland Tournament, where it upset the top three seeds en route to the crown. Top-ranked Ohio State ended the Roadrunners’ season at 20-14 with a 75-46 setback in the NCAA Second Round in Cleveland.
In 2009-10, UTSA opened with a 4-0 overall record for the first time in school history and got off to the best 15-game start in school annals with a 12-3 mark. That stretch included a historic road win at Iowa — the Hawkeyes’ first home-opening loss since 1962 and first season-opening defeat since 1978. The Roadrunners finished 19-11 overall and tied for third in the Southland Conference West Division and fifth overall with a 9-7 league mark. UTSA won a school-record 10 non-conference contests, including a UTSA-best seven victories against Division I opponents, and advanced to the Southland Tournament for the third consecutive year.
In 2008-09, the Roadrunners posted a 19-13 record, including an 8-8 league ledger. It marked the most overall wins since the 2003-04 team also won 19 games. In its second straight Southland Tournament appearance, the Roadrunners upended Sam Houston State and Nicholls en route to making the program’s first championship game in six seasons.
In his second season, UTSA tied for third place in the Southland Conference West Division and tied for sixth in the overall league standings with a 7-9 record, making a return to the Southland Tournament for the first time since 2006.
In his first year on campus, UTSA set school records for fewest field goals allowed in a season (649), fewest field goals allowed in a game (13, San Diego, Nov. 26, 2006) and lowest field goal percentage by an opponent (24.5%, San Diego). UTSA also finished second in the Southland in scoring defense (66.3 ppg).
O’Dowd followed Thompson to UTSA from Arizona State, where he served as an assistant coach for eight seasons under Rob Evans, now an assistant coach at Arkansas.
He helped Arizona State reach the 2003 NCAA Tournament, the program’s first NCAA appearance since 1995. The Sun Devils finished with a 20-12 record that season, defeating Memphis in the NCAA First Round before falling to eventual national finalist Kansas.
He helped tutor future NBA player Ike Diogu, the 2004-05 Pac-10 Player of the Year, a second-team All-American and the ninth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft (Golden State Warriors). Arizona State also advanced to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in 2002 and 2005.
While at ASU, O’Dowd also coached NBA players Eddie House, the 1999-2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year and a member of the 2008 World Champion Boston Celtics, Mike Batiste, Awvee Storey and Tommy Smith.
Prior to his work at Arizona State, O’Dowd was an assistant coach under Evans at Mississippi from 1993-98. He was a key member of a staff that turned around the Rebels program, producing back-to-back NCAA appearances for the first time in school history. O’Dowd helped Mississippi capture two Southeastern Conference (SEC) West titles in 1997 and 1998. He coached Ansu Sesay, the 1997-98 SEC Player of the Year, at Mississippi.
O’Dowd spent two years (1991-93) as an assistant coach and assistant athletics director at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan. He helped guide the Cougars to records of 21-10 in 1991-92 and 23-9 in 1992-93 as Barton County qualified for the regional tournament both years.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Lon Kruger at Kansas State from 1989-91. The Wildcats finished 17-15 and participated in the 1990 NCAA Tournament during his tenure.
O’Dowd was an assistant coach at Topeka (Kan.) High School from 1986-89. His three-year stint included a 20-3 record in 1986-87, an 18-4 mark in 1987-88 and a 20-3, Class 6A runner-up season in 1988-89.
A native of Lakewood, Colo., O’Dowd received a bachelor’s degree in English education and physical education/health in 1986 from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan.
A standout athlete, O’Dowd lettered four years in both cross country and track & field at Bethany where he was a three-time all-conference and academic all-conference honoree. In cross country, he was a two-time qualifier for the national championships. He also qualified twice for the outdoor track nationals and three times for indoor nationals.
O’Dowd graduated from Lakewood High School in 1981 where he was a four-sport letterman in basketball, swimming, tennis and track. He set the school’s assists record and broke track records in the 800-meter and mile runs.
O’Dowd married the former Ginger Dowell in June 2009 and the couple has two sons, Trey and Conner.
The Dan O’Dowd File
· 2008-present: Associate Head Coach, UTSA
· 2006-2008: Assistant Coach, UTSA
· 1998-2006: Assistant Coach, Arizona State
· 1993-98: Assistant Coach, Mississippi
· 1991-93: Assistant Coach, Barton County (Kan.) Community College
· 1989-91: Graduate Assistant Coach, Kansas State
· 1986-89: Assistant Coach, Topeka (Kan.) High School
· 1981-86: Lettered in track and field/cross country at Bethany (Kan.) College
· 1978-81: Lettered in basketball, swimming, tennis and track at Lakewood (Colo.) High School
· Earned bachelor's degree in English education and physical education/health from Bethany College in 1986
· Graduated from Lakewood High School in 1981
· Wife: Ginger
· Sons: Trey, Connor