A beaming smile and a man with an opportunity. I had thought about what the response would be when and if Chris Walker was named as the actual head coach and not the interim head coach. I didn't think that athletic director Kirby Hocutt would just name an interim because of the recruiting implications.
But Walker was named as the interim head coach and he couldn't have been happier to have a six month opportunity to prove himself. I mentioned this on Twitter last night, but when I saw TTU's Brandon Rawe sit-down with Walker (embedded below) and the happiness in Walker's face isn't fake. It's real, he's happy for the opportunity.
If this is Walker's reaction to just being the interim head coach, then maybe this is the best guy for the job.
During the press conference, Hocutt mentioned that he was impressed with the way that Walker handled the last month or so and the way that the players had responded. I honestly don't know how I would have handled the situation with Walker's former boss being alleged of player mistreatment and finding that balance of not turning on the guy that hired you and keeping the team together. Unfortunately, the coaching business is one where loyalty to your head coach is maybe the most important thing. Just ask the assistant coach who was never hired again that used to work for.
Over the course of the past month, I have been equally impressed with the leadership and the communication talent that Chris Walker has demonstrated in moving this basketball program and our student-athletes forward. His ability to lead and to manage the current situation has been very commendable, and above all else, he has placed the well-being of our student-athletes at the forefront of his energy and of his focus.
The whole team was gathered there during the press conference and the player spokesperson was F Jaye Crockett. That makes sense and I think that Crockett is just glad to have this entire episode over.
I think Coach Walker brings -- he makes it a family. He's always open for us to come and talk to him. He's going to bring energy. He keeps us positive at all times. I think it's going to be a great year this year with Coach Walker.
Last year I had zero expectations about what head coach Billy Gillispie would do with the team, in part because I had no idea as to the talent and I thought that the team was an absolute mess overall. My expectations for Walker and this year's team isn't much different, although I think that Texas Tech does have more talent, but I have no idea as to wins or losses.
I also loved Rawe talking about the game. It seems like it has been a long time since we talked about the game and Walker said he's going to push the ball, perhaps that his old point guard mentality taking over, and be more of a running team that shoots threes. I hope he continues the emphasis on the defense, but yes, the offense needs a facelift after being epically bad last year. Walker officially has me excited about Texas Tech basketball. I'm ready to put this chapter behind me and I'm sure that the coaches and players are happy to do the same thing.
In Depth: Walker Named Interim Head Coach (via techathletics)