“Don’t mix family with business” We have all heard this saying at some point in our lives. Whether you have said it as a warning to someone else, or whether you have had that thought after something you experienced, we all know the meaning of this very common phrase.
When you start mixing those two things you can find yourself in some less-than-favorable situations. Texas Tech experienced what mixing the two can do at the conclusion of this most recent football season. Kirby Hocutt will never come out and admit this directly, but the only reason why (I believe) Kliff is still our Head Football Coach is because he is a VIP member of the Red Raider family. Figuratively speaking of course. At any other relatively successful football program in the country, a coach finishing without a bowl game in two of his first four seasons (especially after the long bowl trend that Texas Tech had) simply wouldn’t cut it.
Granted, the performance of the team isn’t always the coaches fault, but I won’t go down the rabbit hole. Nonetheless, the coach and the athletic director are the ones facing the touch questions, win or loss.
I love Kliff with all my heart, but he certainly put Hocutt in an awkward situation this year. I firmly believe the fact that he got another year was just because he is one of our beloved former quarterbacks. Everyone was talking about his contact buyout being too large, but if they felt like there needed to be a change they probably would have found a way to get the money. Heck, maybe that’s the reason for the increase in tuition every year, but what do I know?
Another instance of Texas Tech doing this is one we all know by now, our new Head Basketball Coach Chris Beard. Chris spent 10 years at Texas Tech, which included seven seasons as an assistant coach under Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight. As well as three seasons as an associate head coach under Bob’s son, Pat Knight. Now he is leading our basketball team as their Head Coach. Obviously it’s a different situation because he was never a cornerstone player like Kliff was for our football program, but his Texas Tech roots can’t be denied.
This 2016-2017 basketball season is Chris Beard’s first season back with us, and I am hopeful for what may be to come in the future as well as the present. I am in no way saying he is going to fail as our Head Basketball Coach, and by no means am I wishing failure upon him. I am simply shining light on the potential future problem of having to fire a coach that is part of the Red Raider family. At the end of the day Hocutt’s job is to run a business, not keep a family together. If the business finds success with family in the mix it can be a beautiful thing. However, if the business starts to go south feelings among the family may get hurt, but that’s what you sign up for when you hire family.
I’m not against the hiring of either one of these fantastic men. I actually like it when we hire someone with a personal connection, because they seem to care about it more than just another pay check. However, there are certainly risks to be aware of when you embark on a family-business relationship.