Texas Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt addressed the media and the public this afternoon in the wake of former Head Coach Chris Beard leaving for Texas. Hocutt began the conference by thanking the team, students, fans and season tickets holders. He also outright said that when Texas comes here, the arena would be rocking. Hocutt also thanked Beard for his work over the past five seasons.
He also did not announce an immediate hire and said instead they would be hiring a search firm to help conduct a head coaching search. There will also be a four person search committee that includes Red Raider great Tony Battie. He also announced that they offered Coach Beard a lifetime contract earlier this season and that he was not interested.
Hocutt then announced that there would be no interim coach announced and that every player was in attendance for their meeting this afternoon. He was then asked about the Womble Center and said that Coach Beard was influential in making a lot of the decisions going into the Womble.
When asked if Hocutt had any idea Beard was leaving before this morning, he said that yesterday he and Beard talked about the future of the program and last night, he could tell that Beard was weighing the decision heavily. His emotions were very visible with frustration and said that Tubby Smith’s departure felt different than this one does now.
Hocutt also said every person on the current staff was offered a spot on Beard’s staff in Lubbock. It appears everyone but Mark Adams and Sean Sutton took Beard up on the offer. He also said that a new coaching search would take a couple of weeks.
You could just see that Hocutt was furious with the entire situation. Beard didn’t give Tech an opportunity to match or counteroffer. That should tell you all you need to know about the type of individual and coach that Chris Beard is. He fed us all lies for five years and in the end it bit us all in the butt.
I don’t blame Hocutt for any of this. Honestly, it appears as though Beard gave Hocutt and the athletics department the cold shoulder in the end and never gave them an opportunity to counter with another offer. There really isn’t much else to say here. We’re all still in shock, and hopefully Hocutt takes this anger and frustration and turns into something positive.
What do you think of this press conference? Did Hocutt set the appropriate tone? Let us know in the comments below!