Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt held a press conference Saturday afternoon hours after the stunning news of Tommy Tuberville leaving for the head job at Cincinnati.
Needless to say, Hocutt did not see Tuberville’s departure coming. Hocutt said he was at his son’s soccer game at 9:15 Saturday morning when he received a call from Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock stating his intention to speak with Tuberville. Tuberville called 75 minutes later informing Hocutt of his resignation and plan to take the job at Cincinnati.
Hocutt said that Tuberville nor his agent ever asked for an extension. Said Hocutt, “I have never talked to Tommy’s agent.”
“Tommy is a good man,” Hocutt added. “I wish him well.”
Hocutt met with the team earlier Saturday afternoon, describing them as proud and determined to beat Minnesota in the upcoming Meineke Car Care Bowl. He also met with the remaining Texas Tech coaching staff, minus offensive coordinator Neal Brown, and Hocutt anticipates they will lead the team well in the next three weeks.
Hocutt knows he has a good job to sell. He referenced the fact that the Red Raiders have played in a bowl game in 11 of the past 12 seasons, that more than $230 million has been poured into facilities upgrades in the last decade, and an expanded Jones AT&T Stadium saw a school record for average home attendance this fall.
Hocutt did not delve into specifics of finding Texas Tech’s next head coach, but he did state on his media conference call earlier in the afternoon that his search will not be limited just to head coaches. “We will move forward as expeditiously as we can, but take as much time as we need,” Hocutt added.
“I want to bring the best leader in the country to Texas Tech, someone who knows the fabric of west Texas,” he concluded. “At the end of the day we want the right leader who can bring a winning style of football to Texas Tech.”