Texas State celebrates with coach after winning Sun Belt title in epic COVID fashion

Texas State clinched its first conference championship in 22 years after a 58-49 win over the University of Lousiana Monroe Friday.

For the second consecutive game, the Bobcats were without interim head coach Terrance "TJ" Johnson due to COVID-19 protocols, but that didn't stop a heart-warming post-game moment.

Johnson drove to Strahan Arena after the win and was greeted with excitement and love from the entire squad. Safely behind the closed windows of his car, Johnson was able to celebrate the historic Sun Belt Conference win with his team.

Led by senior forward Isiah Small with 17 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one black, associate head coach Bennie Seltzer was at the helm. 

After the game, Seltzer shared words on Johnson's behalf

"I just want to say how proud Coach Johnson is of this team," Seltzer said. "All the things that they've gone through this past year has been unprecedented, to say the least. These young men were never wavering in how hard they worked, how close they were and how connected they were. It was such a pleasure to be around these guys, to coach these guys. Every single day they brought it."

Texas State Bobcats head coach Terrence Johnson leading his team in a game in November.

Longtime Texas State coach Danny Kaspar resigned in September after being under investigation by university officials for allegations of making racists remarks to his athletes on multiple occasions. 

"I don't know where to start," Johnson said in a team statement. "This has been a roller coaster year trapped in a whirlwind. I am thankful to Dr. Denise Trauth and Dr. Larry Teis for trusting my staff and I to lead this incredible group of young men. These men have been through so much and have not folded. I have never been prouder of a group of men and this feels so deserving. The culture has been on full display this season and I have to credit these players for trusting me and buying into the vision and plan for them and the program. It is a great day to be a Bobcat!" 

Friday's victory is the program's third overall regular season title. Texas State takes on Louisiana-Monroe again Saturday night in San Marcos, Texas to conclude the regular season. 

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.