Texas Tech Basketball: Kirby Hocutt Speaks About Chris Beard Departure

Moving on.

At least we were kind of prepared for this.

The Writing Was on the Wall

That’s sort of how I feel. I feel like I somewhat prepared you all for this as well as myself. What I wrote this week and what Dan wrote 3 years ago really helped me cope yesterday. And “cope” is a bad word to perhaps use, but as the events of yesterday unfolded, none of it was a surprise and I didn’t have that normal sense of “OMG what the hell am I going to write?” that accompanied me when big things happen and I’ve got to figure out how to process it and how to express those things in writing.

I think I wrote at some point in this process that this wouldn’t be about money or facilities or about anything else, it would be about that Chris Beard really didn’t want to be at Texas Tech and would prefer to be at Texas. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

None of this really should have been a surprise, heck even when Beard was first hired away from UNLV, this is exactly what Beard did, which is look to upgrade, although he just only had a day’s worth of history with UNLV. Beard is about himself, which is absolutely fine, he’s always taken the job that would propel him forward and I would tell Texas fans that there’s a better than zero chance that they’ll be on this end of things when Duke or Kansas or some other blueblood comes calling. I know, I can already hear it, “it’s Texas, we are a blueblood” and I would say, okay. Just don’t say you weren’t ever warned.

Kirby Hocutt’s Press Conference

It sounds as if Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt didn’t have an opportunity to counter any offer that was made, that Beard had made up his mind and that Beard simply wanted a different challenge.

Hocutt said that he talked with Beard, about the future of the program, that Beard called Hocutt last night and that Beard had to make a decision and wanted one more night to sleep on what he wanted. I think when I wrote that it was a 50/50 proposition, I do think that it was true.

Hocutt was angry. Defensive a bit. And yes, Hocutt sounded like he was really frustrated.

We’re going to fight, to use a term that Coach Beard uses, we’ve been in the fight for five years and the fight’s not over. And you have somebody who walks away to go to an in-conference, in-state school, absolutely that frustrates you. Heck yeah it does. If we’re honest and loyal and sincere about getting in the fight and you’re in the fight every day, then yeah, frustration would be a kind word to summarize it.

Search Committee

The athletic department will hire a search firm and also have a committee of individuals who will help make that decision.

  1. Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt
  2. President Lawrence Schovanec
  3. Board of Regent Dusty Womble
  4. Tony Battie, former player

The first two aren’t a surprise and am okay with that. I know that Womble has given a significant amount of money to the program and was essentially part of the program. I love the addition of Battie and love that he’s included. There may not be a more successful basketball player for Texas Tech and am proud he is part of this committee.

Wraping Up

I’m glad that Hocutt was miffed at the process and I’m glad that Hocutt, after having some real issues being “the guy” making all coaching decisions. For me, that’s a good thing for the trajectory of the the athletic department.

And I’m disappointed, but Beard put the program in a better position than when he arrived. That’s a good thing. I’m good with this because I’m all but sure that whoever replaces Beard is going to absolutely crush it.


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