Although team’s fans hoped the coach would be there to save the day, Billy Gillispie is forced to resign as Texas Tech coach by health problems.
It was a difficult season for Texas Tech men’s basketball team, fans and even the coach. Red Raiders won just one Big 12 game in the first season Billy Gillispie took over after he replaced Pat Knight. The hope was Billy Gillispie would deliver the same turnaround for Texas Tech as he did at UTEP and Texas A&M. But Billy Gillespie resigned as Texas Tech coach to focus on his health.
It looks like Texas Tech Red Raiders are in the market for a new coach. Billy Gillispie had barely started work with the basketball team and managed to give fans just enough hope for a great second season. Unfortunately the coach that would do that won’t be Billy Gillispie.
“Billy has decided to focus on his health, and we wish him a full recovery. We are proud of the young men that he has brought to this campus” said Kirby Hocutt, athletic director at Texas Tech. “Billy’s decision allows him to concentrate on his well-being and allows us to turn our attention to preparations for the upcoming season” added Hocutt.
For the moment Billy Gillispie hasn’t come forward with a statement, but assistant Chris Walker will take charge of the team during Billy Gillispie time off. The 52-year-old coach will receive the rest of his paycheck for the year, about $467,000 for seven months worth of contract.
Earlier this month, the 52-year-old Texas Tech coach took an indefinite medical leave. Last week, Billy Gillispie received four days of treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. In a statement for Lubbock Avalanche – Journal, Billy Gillispie explained he received treatment for stress and high blood pressure “amongst other things”.
On August 31, Billy Gillispie was taken to the hospital where he received treatment for six days. He told the Lubbock Avalanche – Journal his health was so bad he believed he was having a heart attack or a stroke.
The onset of Billy Gillispie’s health problems coincides with an investigation by Texas Tech into practice time limits last year. The practice time limit allowed by the NCAA is 20 hours, but in October 2011 that limit was exceeded by 12 hours and 20 minutes.