Gillispie resigns as Texas Tech coach
A tumultuous one-season tenure as Texas Tech men’s basketball coach ended Thursday when Billy Gillispie submitted his resignation.
Athletics director Kirby Hocutt said Gillispie’s letter cited health reasons.
“Billy has decided to focus on his health, and we wish him a full recovery,” Hocutt said in a news release on the school’s athletics website. “We are proud of the young men he has brought to this campus. Billy’s decision allows him to concentrate on his well-being and allows us to turn our attention to preparations for the upcoming season.”
The Red Raiders were 8-23 overall, 1-17 in the Big 12, in Gillispie’s lone season as
successor to Pat Knight. The school said Gillispie will be paid for the rest of his contract, which runs through April 30, 2013.
Gillispie, 52, had been on indefinite medical leave since Sept. 10. He spent parts of four days last week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., returning to Lubbock, Texas, last Friday. He texted the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that he was seeking treatment for high blood pressure and stress “amongst other things.”
Before Gillispie left for the Mayo Clinic on Sept. 11, Hocutt said he had told the coach he was not to be involved with the program “in any way” until they had a face-to-face meeting. It isn’t clear if that meeting ever took place.
Gillispie’s tenure in Lubbock began to unravel last month when CBSSports.com and ESPN.com, citing several former players, reported the coach regularly violated NCAA practice-time rules and mistreated players to the point of causing injury.
The school announced Aug. 31 that it was looking into the alleged mistreatment. Earlier that day and hours before he was to meet with Hocutt, Gillispie called 911 and was taken to a Lubbock hospital, where he spent six days. He later told the Avalanche-Journal he thought he was having a heart attack or a stroke.
Early this month Hocutt announced that the school had reprimanded Gillispie in January for exceeding practice-time limits the previous fall. The letter included language that there would be “no tolerance for disregard of rules,” Hocutt told the Associated Press.
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