University High School has named Tarl Lloyd Jr. its new head basketball coach, marking the third time Lloyd has run the program for the Trojans.
Lloyd, 64, replaces Rodney Smith, who announced he was switching from basketball to football last month. Tarl Lloyd Jr. had a string of successes leading UHS to two appearances in the state semifinals in the 1990s.
His Trojans lost to #1 ranked Dallas Lincoln in the state semis in 1993 after Rodney Smith’s 3-pointer sent the game into overtime. Then, four years later, Lloyd’s team was 34-3 and ranked #2 in the state when they fell to Highland Park, again in the semifinals.
“It’s truly a blessing,” Lloyd said about returning to the bench. “I didn’t know if I’d ever get a chance to coach again.”
After 14 years as a JV or assistant, Lloyd got his first head coaching job at UHS in 1989. That stint ended in 2000 when he decided he wanted to be a principal. He then returned to the bench to coach again from 2008 to 2010. Overall, he led the Trojans to five district titles, four bi-district championships, and the two final four appearances. He was District Coach of the Year four times.
“I always coached my players to play any style to be successful. I wanted them well versed for any situation they encountered,” Lloyd said.
Now the veteran coach, who will remain an assistant principal, has a new challenge. All but two of this year’s players were seniors, so he will inherit a young team. “It’s a great group coming back. We’ve got some good sophomores who will be juniors, and they’re quick. They’re fast. They can all handle the ball well,” he promised.
If he needs any tips he won’t have to go far. Lloyd’s son, Tarl III, coaches the girls basketball team at UHS. Joyce Lloyd, Tarl Jr.’s wife of 44 years, will no doubt have a busy schedule this coming season.