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Former basketball player and coach Leon Black passed away

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Austin, Texas Leon Black, The former University of Texas basketball player, who later served as head coach of the Longhorns for nine seasons from 1967 to 1976, died in Austin on Tuesday. Black was 89 years old.

Black was a three-year letterwinner on duty for Texas (1950-53). In his sophomore season in 1950-51 under head coach Jack Gray, the Longhorns won a share of the Southwest Conference regular season title. Black played his final two years at UT for head coach Thurman “Slue” Hull.

Black returned to the Forty Acres as an assistant coach for three years (1964-65 to 1966-67) under Harold Bradley. The Longhorns were SWC co-champions in the 1964-65 season.

Black was head coach at UT for nine years (1967-76), leading Texas to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and two Southwest Conference titles in 1971-72 and 1973-74. The Longhorns reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1972.

Black was considered a pioneer who paved the way by recruiting the first seven African-American student-athletes in the history of the men’s basketball program, including stars Jimmy Blacklock, Larry Robinson, and Johnny Moore. He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1989.

Born in Martins Mill, Texas, Black was born on February 21, 1932.

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