Billy Gillispie Hired at Texas Tech

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 20, 2011 12:18 PM CDT

Oklahoma Sports Staff

LUBBOCK, Texas – Former Kentucky and Texas A&M basketball coach Billy Gillispie confirmed to ESPN Sunday that he has agreed to a five-year contract to become the new coach at Texas Tech.

Texas Tech fired former coach Pat Knight – son of legendary coach Bob Knight – before the Big 12 Championship, and Pat Knight said afterward that he endorsed Gillispie as his replacement.

Gillispie holds a career record of 140-85 and is the only coach in NCAA history to lead the nation’s biggest turnaround in two consecutive seasons, one at UTEP and one at Texas A&M.

Gillispie most recently coached at Kentucky, where he suffered through two tumultuous seasons. The Wildcats achieved only mild success on the court, while Gillispie experienced trouble with the school’s administrators.

Gillispie was fired in March 2009, and the school cited his refusal to sign a contract extension as a reason for their “incompatibility.” Gillispie later filed a lawsuit claiming the school was in breach of contract, and the two sides eventually reached an agreement out of court.

In August 2009, Gillispie was pulled over by police and arrested in Frankfort, Ky., for drunken driving. That marked the third time Gillispie was accused of driving under the influence, one of which occurred while he was an assistant coach under Bill Self at the University of Tulsa.

Gillispie previously was mentioned as a leading candidate for the head coaching position at Oklahoma that was vacated with the firing of Jeff Capel. Other candidates for the job include Marquette’s Buzz Williams and New Mexico’s Steve Alford.