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Point/Counterpoint - Who Is Tech's Best Coach?

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Jonathan and Wes discuss who they believe is the best coach currently on campus

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Wes' Point

This is an easy one for me because as I type this article there is one coach that just had a national champion crowned, Wes Kittley. I looked at this from two different perspectives, work prior to Tech and work at Tech. There are a few coaches with legitimate success prior to coming to Tech.

Tubby Smith coached Kentucky to a national championship in 1998. He led them to multiple regular season and conference championships as well. He also had success at his other stops: Georgia (first back-to-back 20 seasons), Tulsa (back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances) and Minnesota (multiple NCAA appearances). He just hasn't had success at Tech yet. He has the program in a MUCH better spot that when we got here which we can't say about a basketball coach since Bob Knight.

Tom Stone crossed my mind. He had success at his prior stops in the professional and high school soccer ranks. In fact he led the Atlanta Beat to the inaugural championship game in the WUSA. As the head coach of Tech, he has the highest win percentage of any soccer coach, led us to our best ever season and back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances. I hope Tom Stone is here for the next twenty years, but he just doesn't quite measure up to Kittley.

Coach Kittley has had 16 national champions, over 200 All-Americans and over 119 Big 12 Champions in 16 seasons at Tech. Need I say more? Probably not, but I will. He won 29 National Championships at ACU prior to coming to Tech. I know T&F is a little tougher to keep up with and judge due to two seasons (indoor & outdoor) and so many athletes participating, but make no mistake there are only a handful of programs in a better position than Tech is at this point. The state of the program is currently stronger than any other program on campus. Hope Kittley sticks around for the next twenty years as well.

Jonathan's Counterpoint

For me, the best coach on campus in Lubbock is a no-brainer. As much as we all love Kliff, he's a young coach, and he has not had success as of yet. Tubby has started to really turn around the basketball program and has a national championship, but the success for him has not happened either. One coach who is also a former student has only been the head coach for 3 seasons with an additional year as an associate coach and that coach is Tim Tadlock.

Tadlock spent 6 years in Norman as an assistant coach, hitting coach, and recruiting coordinator before coming back to Tech. During this time Oklahoma consistently had top-rated recruiting classes and batted over .300 all 6 years he was in Norman. In 2012 Tadlock returned home as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. After being on the job for a mere 7 months, his first recruiting class at Tech was ranked 24th nationally. During this season as recruiting coordinator there were 9 Red Raiders selected in the MLB draft which was second only to Arizona State's 10 picks. From 2010-2013 there were 42 players taken in the draft with connections to Tadlock. This past draft had 3 Tech signee's selected in the first 2 rounds, with 2 in the first 15 picks. They were the only program in the country to have multiple picks in the first 15.

On the field, Tadlock has really turned around the program. In his first season as head coach, tech had the youngest team in the country, with 22 new players. They won the Big 12 opening series in Austin, something that had not been done since 2001 and finished the season winning 8 of the final 14. While their record that season was not too spectacular at 26-30. That season they would set school records in fielding percentage and double plays. They would have 2 freshman All-Americans, 4 All-Big 12 selections, 4 academic All-Big 12 players, and 3 MLB draft picks. Not bad for a first season. The second season went even better. Tech started off 2014 season with a series win over the #3 team in the country and ended up winning 45 games on their way to Omaha. This turnaround led to Tadlock being presented with the Skip Bertman award, annually given to the coach of the year, as chosen by the College Baseball Foundation. This past season, everyone had incredibly high expectations that ultimately were not lived up to, but with Tadlock, fans know that under his watch, even more success is in the future.