I've already typed up my thoughts on Texas Tech's hing of Billy Gillispie to lead Texas Tech's men's basketball team. I'm also in the process of sending questions to SB Nation's Kentucky blog, A Sea of Blue, and UTEP blog, Miner Rush, to ask them what they think about Gillispie. I hope to have those Q&A's wrapped up later this week.
I should also remind everyone that Gillispie's initial press conference will be Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at the United Spirit Arena. This is the same place that Bob Knight held his press conference at Texas Tech. Everyone is welcome to attend and would love to have DTN's very own correspondent. I should also mention that Ryan Hyatt will have Gillispie on his radio show, from 3 to 7 p.m., and you can tweet questions to Hyatt @RyanHyattWHShow.
But in the meantime, we've got a bunch of reaction from around the interwebs about Texas Tech taking the chance on the former Kentucky, Texas A&M and UTEP head coach and we've also got some audio of Gillispie calling into KAMC and ESPN.
It's all after the jump.
The Newspaper Links |
LAJ's Courtney Linehan | Gillispie newest cornerstone to Texas Tech’s revamped athletic program:
However, Gillispie said his two years out of coaching were an unexpected blessing. He spent time with his mother, who died last January after a short bout with cancer. And it allowed him to "take a deep breath" after a career he describes as "fast and furious."
He said he wouldn’t trade those two years for any trophy.
"As a person, I think we all have to continue evolving," Gillispie said. "We all make mistakes, but I think that’s what defines what kind of person you are, how you handle them. I think even the mistakes I’ve made have been blessings to me. I didn’t know it at the time, but it’s blessings because that’s what I’ve made them out to be."
Gillispie said he spent those two years studying basketball from the outside, conscious of how he might react to changing trends and ideas. He observed other coaches’ practices, developed marketing plans, and caught as many games as possible either in person or on television.
LAJ's Courtney Linehan | Gillispie returns to Texas roots as he takes on coaching position at Tech
"I’m just really, really, really excited about the whole deal," Gillispie says. "I’m looking forward to seeing the returning players, excited about the guys they’ve signed.
"I want to get to know all the coaches, know all the fans, know everyone in Lubbock, every alumnus that’s not in Lubbock. I just think this is going to be perfect.
"From afar, it looks to me like there are a lot of things that have been very well taken care of. There’s a lot of good already here."
FWST's Mike Jones | Billy Gillispie says he and Texas Tech 'a perfict fit'
But in order to get back into coaching, Gillispie had to overcome questions about a past that included three DWI arrests, accusations of mistreatment of players (only at Kentucky) and a perceived lack of willingness to make public appearances for the program.
Gillispie said recently he was convinced there was "zero chance" he would fall into past patterns and said Sunday he looked forward to being a positive representative for "the university, the program and the people of West Texas."
DT's Jon Arnold | Hocutt makes strong opening statement with Gillispie hire
The big story here, though, is not whether Hocutt and Gillispie caught "Battle: Los Angeles" or played a few holes of mini-golf but that Hocutt set his eyes on the most attractive candidate available and went out and got that guy to come to Tech.
Recruiting is a big deal in college athletics, and that doesn’t just go for athletes. ADs have to be able to sell their program to big-name coaches.
With this hire, Hocutt shows he’s prepared to keep doing just that. Of course, there are many different aspects to his job, and it remains to be seen what he will do with facilities, fundraising and other things. Still, it’s encouraging to see his first task as AD marked as a success (for now).
LAJ's Courtney Linehan | Gillispie promises a show West Texans want to watch
Gillispie even promises to play West Texas basketball.
Great, I thought. You’re going to put Sheryl Swoopes and Andy Ellis and Kevin Wagner on the court together? Maybe beat the ball until it’s oblong and throw some 20-yard passes down court?
No, Gillispie tells me, West Texas basketball is five guys diving for the same loose ball. It’s being the first guy in the gym and the last one out. It’s recruiting every day you can, whether it’s recruiting the local Rotary club to buy tickets or the local four-star prodigy to play for your team.
West Texas basketball sounds a lot like successful basketball.
"I know the fabric of West Texas," Gillispie said. "They appreciate hard work, they appreciate teamwork.
"They’re going to know the coach. They’ll probably get sick of seeing me around so much. I want to know everybody, because if they know us they’re going to want to be a part of what we want to do."
DT's Tommy Magelssen | Billy ball
Known as a top-flight recruiter, Gillispie faces the task of bringing top recruits to West Texas. Incoming recruit Jordan Tolbert said he was excited Gillispie was coming to Tech because he believes he is a good coach. Tolbert said he spoke to Gillispie on the phone Sunday.
"We didn’t get to talk that long, but I like him," Tolbert said via Facebook. "He said what I wanted to hear."
Terran Petteway, a 6-foot-5 commit from Galveston, said Gillispie couldn’t wait to get him in Lubbock so he could start coaching the small forward.
Petteway said he hopes to be in the NCAA Tournament next year, something he knows Gillispie has experience with.
"He sounds like a guy who knows what he’s talking about," Petteway said. "He sounds like a coach who doesn’t like to lose, and that’s what I’m like; I don’t like to lose, either."