It’s the end of an era. Finally. I am in shock. I think I’ve texted that to friends a handful of times already today. Like a lot of you, I was resigned to former Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville finishing out 2013 at Texas Tech and then athletic director Kirby Hocutt making a decision about what to do with Tuberville after 2013. I have been writing for the better part of two years, to watch when Tuberville was going to be given a second extension. Former AD Gerald Myers gave Tuberville an extension after his first year which would have had him coaching until 2015. Trying to drum up recruits on a deal that would have had him gone in 2015 wasn’t feasible and I’d imagine that this is where things got sticky.
I’d imagine that Tuberville went to Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt and asked for an extension, for recruiting purposes. I’d guess by Tuberville’s actions that Hocutt said absolutely not. Hocutt has always maintained that the program needs to be trending upward and that obviously wasn’t happening at Texas Tech. After winning eight games in his first year, Texas Tech tanked in the last half of the season and could only muster five wins in 2011. In 2012, he was able to get 7 wins, but Texas Tech just tanked in the second half of the season again, pulling out a win against Kansas, who was winless in the conference.
This wasn’t exactly inspiring on any level and that was problematic for Tuberville and Hocutt. I think what Tuberville craves more than anything else is security. In some respect that's good. It's good that he's providing some security for some of his coaches, but it's not a way to run a successful football program.
I wrote this two weeks ago, that Tuberville was the safest hire that Texas Tech could have made at the time that Leach was terminated. Safe in just about every respect. Safe will most likely always be mediocre, but it will also likely never take you to where you haven't been.
I’d imagine that the writing was on the wall for Tuberville. He wasn’t inspiring a fanbase that desperately wanted to be inspired about something. The fans truly got on board with the win against TCU and they wanted to believe. But it was more of the same. Losing some close games. Losing some blowouts. It just wasn’t even remotely entertaining.
So now we sit and Tuberville has left Texas Tech. I really didn’t think Tuberville would leave, maybe not because he didn’t want to, but because he hadn’t coached his ass off and done what we hoped he would do, which is win.
In many ways, I’m relieved. I’m glad it’s over and I’m glad that Hocutt gets to make the decision on the next head coach. That’s a good thing.
I think that Hocutt knows a bit about trying to unite a program. Hocutt made the mistake of giving Randy Shannon a hefty extension 10 months before Hocutt fired him. Hocutt wasn’t going to make that same mistake twice. Miami needed someone that could unite their program and they think they got that in Al Golden. A young, proven program builder. That’s what Miami desperately needed and in many cases, they were or are similar to Texas Tech in that they had a history of winning, but just expected more.
Onward and upward. I think I still need time to consider who some of the candidates are or will be. I know for some of you, there’s only one candidate, but things don’t work out like you plan a lot of times and you better have some solid back-up choices. People say "no" for a variety of reasons. Maybe they’re not ready. But I’d bet that Hocutt does have a list.