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Hocutt told Tuberville improvement, changes were required

Coach's resignation came less than two weeks after review

Posted: December 20, 2012 - 5:30pm  |  Updated: December 21, 2012 - 1:09am
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Texas Tech's Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt discusses the departure of Texas Tech head football coach Tommy Tuberville Saturday, December 8, 2012. (Stephen Spillman / Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
Texas Tech's Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt discusses the departure of Texas Tech head football coach Tommy Tuberville Saturday, December 8, 2012. (Stephen Spillman / Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
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Kirby Hocutt says he told former Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville in no uncertain terms after the regular season ended that more was expected from the program, a conversation that might have set the wheels in motion for Tuberville’s exit.

The Tech athletic director said he met with Tuberville two days after the regular season ended and told him changes had to be made.

Asked if those changes involved staff or merely better results, Hocutt said, “There are a lot of spokes to the wheel when it comes to a football program. Tommy had assembled a very good staff, very experienced and talented men who were doing the best that we all could to be successful.

“The details are going to stay within the walls of that conversation, but we have to be better. We have to be better. We can’t accept ending the seasons the way the last two years have ended. I understand that. I embrace the expectations that we have as a program.”

Tuberville resigned to become head coach at Cincinnati on Dec. 8, 12 days after Hocutt said the meeting took place.

Tech was 6-1 after an Oct. 20 victory at TCU before losing four of its last five games. In 2011, Tech started 4-0 and lost seven of its last eight for the Red Raiders’ first losing season since 1992.

While discussing on Wednesday the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury as head coach, Hocutt spelled out what he expects of the program:

■ to be the best college football program in Texas

■ one that is “competing and winning at the highest levels”

■ one about which fans are excited

■ one recruits from Texas and surrounding states want to be part of

Hocutt said similar goals also were communicated to Tuberville before this season, though Hocutt says he never sets a specific win total as a requirement.

“Tommy and I had talked about making sure we shared the same expectations for Texas Tech football that we just mentioned, that we were moving in that direction,” Hocutt said. “Were we disappointed with the way this season ended? You bet we were disappointed. Were we frustrated? Yes, we were very frustrated. Were there going to have to be changes made to certain aspects of the program? Yes, there were.

“Tommy and I had talked about those things. I don’t want to get into the details, but we’d said, ‘Hey, we have higher expectations. We can’t expect to continue doing the same things and expect different results, and these are the areas that there are going to have to be changes made to.’”

Hocutt spoke with passion in his voice as he discussed the subject.

When asked what he thought were the team’s biggest failings the last two years, Hocutt pointed to facets of the game that Tuberville often harped on.

“I believe you have to have a balanced attack,” Hocutt said. “Obviously, you throw the football, but you’ve got to be able to run the football as well. At times, we were not able to do both. And you have to.

“Defensively, you have to be able to not only defend against the pass, but you have to stop the run. Toward the end of the last two seasons, we were not able to do both of those things.”

Tech rushed for 179, 186 and 325 yards in the first three games of the season, then was held to fewer than 115 rushing yards in seven of the first eight Big 12 Conference games. The Red Raiders are 86th in rushing offense and No. 2 in passing offense as they get ready to play Minnesota (6-6) next week in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.

Though Tech has improved in total defense from No. 115 last year to No. 39 currently, the Red Raiders gave up 50 or more points in four of their last six games. In the win at TCU and a 52-45 loss to Baylor, the opponent hit the 50-point barrier in overtime.

Hocutt made an unsolicited reference to Kansas State and Wildcats coach Bill Snyder — the program and coach for which he played — as a model.

“It’s not complicated,” Hocutt said. “People ask all the time, ‘How’s Bill Snyder been able to do what he’s done at Kansas State?’ It’s a simple formula. It’s a formula of fundamentals, of discipline, of accountability, of hard work and effort. People think there has to be more to it, but when it breaks down, it gets back to doing the fundamental things correctly every day and playing the game with great passion and enthusiasm and effort.”

Hocutt seemed to largely absolve Red Raiders players, saying the current team “has established a great foundation.”

“This football team never stopped competing this year,” he said. “They never stopped competing. They kept fighting. We’ve just got to stay consistent with the process and couldn’t be more excited that we’ve got Kliff Kingsbury in here to take us to that next step.”

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Thanks for this story.

Hocutt had had enough of Tuberville's mediocre crap. He told him it was time to put up or shut up. Well, thankfully for all of Red Raider Nation he shut up and rode on out of town!


In Retrospect

No December 30, 2009; then no need for the conversation.

That said, at this point in our history, I prefer that Kingsbury be our coach moving forward.

And nobody enjoyed the Original Air Raid more than myself.

Go Tech.


why is Hocutt

talking about our need to run the ball? Maybe he's right, maybe not. But that shouldn't be his purview. What's next, Hocutt talking about whether to use the 4-3, 3-4 or 2-5?

And, AJ, can we PLEASE quit using blended stats from OOC and conf games? When you play 3 scrimmages and 9 conference games, the averages are meaningless, b/c 25% of the schedule is irrelevant.

If you want to know how TTU is doing, please show rankings for points scored and points allowed, yardage gained and yardage given up ... for conference games. Where does TTU fit on these scales? It is LAUGHABLE that you foster this "defensive improvement" theme, "39th in the nation" for a team that gave up 35, 46 and 36 ppg (40 average) in conf during Tubs' 3 years ... following his predecessor who gave up 30, 31 and 23 ppg in conf during his last 3 years (28 average)

And for all the chat about "bare cupboards," Spike, Leach, Tubs all inherited recruiting classes significantly better than the one K2 will get. 11 recruits, no 4*, etc. I'm fond K2 personally and as HC, but where are the "bare cupboard" comments now, when the sentiment is actually true?



It is interesting to me that this article is just now coming out. Sounds like Tuberville was scared about getting fired next year after this conversation. Any news on the buyout from either side yet?


For Gunzsidewayz

In Big 12 Conference games only, Tech ranked fourth of 10 teams in total defense, ninth in rushing defense, third in pass defense, seventh in scoring defense. Oops. That might make them sound a little too good.

In conference play, Tech allowed 46.0 points per game last year and 39.1 points per game this year, which has been reported before for those paying attention.

The story says Tech gave up 50-plus points four times in its last six games -- all Big 12 games, by the way -- for people who read at a level beyond third grade.

Tech ranked 115th in total defense last year for a 12-game schedule that included three non-conference games and 39th this year for a 12-game schedule that included three non-conference games. That's comparing apples to apples.



The buyout is $900,000 -- base salary of $300,000 times three years remaining on contract. It's owed to Tech within one year of Tuberville's resignation date.


Its the Big 12

I agree with "gunzsidewaayz", its how you perform in the Big 12. We have been last in the BIg 12--of the Texas schools. Thats the point here. Forget all the rest, its our backyard or neighborhood and last is NOT ACCEPTABLE. The rest will take care of itself.


December 30 2009

If Leach hadn't been such an ass and gotten himself fired then maybe there would have been no need to have the conversation with Tubs.


why is Hocutt ...

... being criticized by someone whose guns aren't up and can't shoot straight ??

As for paragraphs 2 & 3, thank you Don Williams for the facts.

About the cupboard left bare: my crystal ball is in the shop, and since I'm only slightly more psychic than a pile of rocks, I'll have to get back to you on that in 3 years.

However, since you seemingly proclaim to be all-knowing on the subject, perhaps you could give to us unwashed, the name-by-name future performance breakdown on everyone signed from Feb. 2010 - Feb. 2013.


Tubs leaving

sounds like the heat in the kitchen got too hot........tubs never had that "west TX state of mind"! When you place yourself first, make excuses, and don't produce, you deserve to be offered a job above the red river!

Merry Christmas to All......



You're right. Leach was not adept at cultivating the personality of the low mentality Myers. He did not employ the term "y'all," like I do; and as a result mistakenly did not cultivate the egos of Hance and the Inner Circle.

He was hired to win games, fill the stadium, graduate his kids, and stay out of trouble with the NCAA. He succeeded.

Hance and the Inner Circle ALWAYS had the right to fire Leach at any moment.

But in the absence of cause for termination and in the absence of failure to follow the disciplinary guidelines set forth in the Handbook of Texas Tech, Hance and his pals had no moral right to cheat Leach out of pay for the completed 2009 season, to cheat Leach out of the $800,000 LOYALTY bonus that was due; or to cheat Leach out of the $1,600,000 buyout described in the contract entered by Texas Tech in the presence of Hance and the Circle.

The actions perpetrated by Dicky Grigg on behalf of Texas Tech to hide behind the skirt of the State of Texas for purposes of cheating a man out of earned pay for work completed besmirched the great name of Texas Tech and has been observed and recorded throughout the nation.

Now I pray Kliff Kingsbury will put this behind our great university and move forward in an era where such conduct by the powers that be will never again be observed.

There can be no historical revision. There can only be progress.


Hogwash Surfaces

To the admitted casual observers, who often "see" more that meets the eye, the ongoing defensive posture by TTU indicates there is far more to this change-over than meets that proverbial eye; again! If the former was so poor, it's amazing he was picked up by Cinn. so rapidly and K. surfaced with equal rapidity. Do the powers that be over the stadium really believe grads are stupid?

I guess so.



The relevant stat for D is 7th in scoring defense in a 10-team league that isn't known for defense. (BTW, I did not include OT points in my calculation for TTU at 36 ppga in '12 in 'conf). Sure, if you compare '12 to the worst D in the nation in '11, the '12 performance is an uptick. But not to '10 (same as '12), and certainly not to '09 (Leach's best D year at 23 ppga in conf).

I would also note that the TTU O slowed considerably under Tubs, again looking at regulation ppg in conf. And Tubs ran the ball more. Doesn't mean a running game is bad, but the correlation between points scored and a good running game is tenuous, at best. In fact, TTU has a running game, just not with handoffs and laterals - tiny forward passes thrown behind or near the LOS.


Oh no, this cannot be

How can this be? For three years we have been fed a steady line from the AJ, Hance, and all the Hancers who post on these threads that Tubby was a genius and a wonderful hire who was improving the program and anyone who pointed to three straight years with losing records in conference after three years when TTU won almost thirty games and after 24 years when TTU had a total of two years with losing records in conference just did not understand what improvement meant. Now we hear he was on the carpet for poor performance. I'm glad Kliff is here and I wish the program success but this stuff just confirms again that the only time you can assume Hance and his buddies are lying is any time when their lips are moving. It also shows an interesting contempt for the attention span of the average fan.



As to moniker, I was "gunzup" until the self-inflicted wounds of '09. "Gunzsidewayz" reflects my ambivalence - love for my undergrad univ and frustration with the Admin's actions.

You seem to be a recent addition to these threads. If true, a bit of history might be helpful. When Leach was terminated, ~10 regulars on this site consistently parroted Tub's blather about "championships." Obviously, he, and they, were dead wrong. The Tub apologists' primary theme was the "cupboard bare" argument, as if Leach left no talent and a poor recruiting class. They seized this theme tenaciously, despite its inaccuracy. In fact, excluding kickers, TTU returned 16 starters in '10, 7 on D, from a team that allowed only 23 ppg in conf.

So when Hocutt makes the excellent hire of KK, what does Hance say? Not "My boy Tub fled like a thief in the night" or "Sure hope the GA doesn't file a lawsuit" or "Investors and pedestrians in West TX will be much safer." No, he says, and I'm paraphrasing, that "Tub left a better team/program than what he inherited." What a crock!

I am not clairvoyant; no one is. I can make a reasoned guess, though, and conclude that a class of 11 players, no 4*, tied with UAB for #71 on Rivals, is much closer to a "bare cupboard" than what Leach left.


This is refreshing...

...I am so glad to hear and confirm in my mind what had happened. It shows to me that Holcutt just doesn't bark out words. He means them. Thank God for that.

It appears, as I expected, Mr. Ego glad handing used car salesman couldn't cut it. Couldn't cut it in the BIG 12, couldn't cut it with the fans and most of all was a typical weak Southeasterner who couldn't deal with the weather here. It takes a person of the land to deal with the weather in Texas in general, especially here on the High Plains. I realized when he wanted the indoor practice facility and his constant whines about the wind movement here that he wouldn't make it here. Past coaches relished the wind. Working in the wind made you ready for potential game time weather conditions. Leach would practice them out there in hurricane force winds, as well as Spike. Those coaches were seious about winning.

So on to the future. It appears Holcutt has shown he is serious about this program now and wants what we all want, a championship. Thank you Mr. Holcutt!



So what is this article saying, that tubbs left because the AD laid down the law of expectations after the season ended?! That is a common thing employers do every year with their employees, what's the big deal? I think there is more to tubbs sudden departure that we aren't being told. We know that tubbs has no loyalty whatsover, but to bolt to an inferior program in an inferior conference is just not his modus operandi. I couldn't care less why he left, I never bought into his smooth talking bs agenda, I'm just saying this sounds like a smoke screen which IS the modus operandi of the hance administration. Lies and deceit will always be embedded in this program as long as hance and his army of drones are part of it. Let's not forget that Kirby was as quiet as a church mouse when tubbs went off on the GA and then went on tv and flat out lied about it!


First steps

It appears that we have taken the first steps to clean up the athletic department. Hocutt could be a good Athletic Director if he is allowed to do his job without interference. Although we have not seen anything from Kingsbury on the field, he certainly appears good in the media and I have very high hopes for him. He appears to be forthright, honest and capable.

The only problem we have is the liar in the administration building. If we could get rid of Hance, Tech may come back to be a great school again. I know the Hance supporters are not about to quit touting his accomplishments (Which are none other than fund raising and ruining the athletic department), but it appers that there are a lot of Tech fans and alumni that are ready for a major change in the administration building.


What the hell are you whining about?

Look at the situation Texas Tech finds itself in? We have the Prodigal Son come home to lead the Double-T Nation out of the desert (talk about your mixed biblical metaphors). Isn't this the dream scenario everyone has been drooling over since Tubs seat first became hot (you know---on the day he was hired)?

And another thing---hate on Tuberville all you want for any number of reasons...his on-field results were nowhere near what we are accustomed to...the manner in which he left was less than "upstanding". BUT---at least acknowledge that he left Kliff a roster that is stocked with talent. And not just talent, but promising YOUNG talent (very few upperclassmen) that is just now entering the prime of their college careers. Whomever Kliff trusts to coordinate his defense is going to be in much better shape (depth-wise) than what James Willis had on the roster 3 years ago.

For the life of me, I don't get why people can't let it go. I look at what we have coming back, and more importantly, who we have coming home, and just get all kinds of excited. I would think we all would be farting rainbows over this.


Tuberville has revealed himself

I think that Tuberville really revealed himself on all of his interviews since leaving Lubbock - "hired gun". "all places are about the same..blah...blah". This philosophy showed consistently during his stay at Tech and my congratulations to all that were saavy enough to see through the charade. I am so glad that there were so many people who spoke out against Tuberville regardless of what the spin was from Tech or the local media. The damage has been done and he drove our once proud football into the ground....no loyalty to the fans or really the team....I strongly applaud Coach Kingsbury's digs at Tuberville during his press conference as our new coach spoke for all true Red Raiders everywhere - we are all sick and tired of our university being ruined and defamed by someone who is just out for himself...Tech has too special a place in all of our lives for this to have happened....



You are right, Tubs recruited well in 10/11. But we lost many good recruits in 09 with the transition, and the 12 recruiting class now looks abysmal. Not much K2 can do to fix it; he will have to recruit VERY well in 13 to make up for the 12 debacle. But he will benefit from 2 good recruiting classes from Tubs.

As for D, Tubs inherited 7 D starters, although 1 was listed as a backup for 10, from a D that allowed only 23 ppg in 09 conf play. Then Tubs gave up 40 ppg in conf over 3 years (excl OT points). DON'T BLAME LEACH!

Spike was good, Leach was very good, Tubs stunk and I hope K2 trumps them all.


@GUNZ - thanks for your ...

... thoughtful reply. Yes, I've been here less than 4 weeks, so I always appreciate it when someone gives me background information on y'alls feuding the past 3 years. There is so much animosity that after my first post I was immediately lambasted, labeled, and denigrated by a host if individuals that I didn't know, and they didn't know me. All I did was give my opinion on a situation I read about here. I'm also new to blogs/ posts in general, hence I had no idea what I had just stepped into.

Out of self-preservation, I erroneously replied in kind to the assault upon me. Still being "green and wet behind the ears, having just got off the bus", I didn't realize what a huge mistake I had made. I just wanted to talk sports with like-minded individuals, not be forced to take a side in a 3 yr war of constant negativity. I still fail to see why it's not possible to have differing opinions and not be mortal enemies, but I suppose that's why the world is in the state it's in.

Anyway, having extricated my emotions from the situation, I must point out that: almost everybody plays 3 "creampuffs" in non-conference, each conference is different, we had/have polls/bcs instead of playoffs, and I'm willing to bet that people weren't clamoring for "conference only stats" back when Coach Leach was here. That said, I pay money to read the AJ, and would also like to see the AJ compile and report conference stats!

Even if all "BCS" schools were required to play other bcs schools in non-conference, people would argue "we/you played Alabama/Kentucky" or "we/you played Big10/ACC" and every non bcs school would be screaming "unfair, exclusion, money, etc".

And at the end of the day, kh@nce is not going to be run off by this divisiveness like the cowardly coach was, so wallowing in this negativity serves absolutely no purpose. I would say to y'all that there's a reason why politicians/lawyers litter the landscape of powerful positions, but then I'd just be called a conspiracy kook/nut, and be told to take it to a different forum.



Tubberville "walks away" of his on free will and volition, and he gets paid? For what? Mediocrity?

Score another one for Gerald Myers. If Tubbs had been fired, I can see where a termination clause may be justified, but to leave on his own?

I don't see why a contract couldn't be negotiated that says, (for example), " we wii give you five years, and your first year sets a minimum standard. If you fail to increase winnings the second year, by X' factor, you lose the fifth year. If you fail to increase winnings the third year, you lose the fourth year, and you are gone.....period."



Agree on all your points. As a clarification re Leach, I liked the winning conference record, and being ranked at YE in 5 of his last 6 years (TTU has been ranked at year-end only 9 times in its history), and good bowls (Cotton 2x, Holiday, Gator). I could care less that TTU ran up crazy stats playing UNM or a directional school.

* You definitely stepped into a minefield. i''ll summarize it for you. Leachers in reg text, Hancers in ALL CAPS. Leach was great. HE NEVER WON ANYTHING. Tubs isn't doing well. LEACH LEFT THE CUPBOARD BARE. Tubs still isn't doing well, BUT WE'RE MAKING IMPROVEMENTS. Don't see what improvements you're talking about ... Glad we have K2 instead of Tubs, SO DO WE, NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT.


Mr. Hocutt is right, sort of

There are two things that I have a problem with that Mr. Hocutt mentions:

1) He wants to be the best team in Texas. That's it? Why not shoot for a national title?

2) He wants a balanced attack. Mr. Hocutt, I don't care if we run the wishbone if it gets us a national title. Lets not get hung up too many passes or runs or whatever. I'm only interested in winning.

In men's sports, Tech is the only school in the B12 that hasn't been to a BCS game, hasn't played in the Final 4, hasn't sent a team to the College Baseball World Series and doesn't have a Heisman trophy winner.

Mr. Hocutt made it clear to Tubberville that he had to improve and that didn't sit well with him so he bolted another school that will be more tolerant of his mediocrity.

With Tubberville gone and Hance apparently out of the way, Hocutt now has a chance to put his stamp on Tech athletics and he's made it clear that he expects better.

We all should.


Now, now, Bernardo

When you speak the plain truth around here they give you a fair trial at 8:00 AM in the morning and then hang you at 8:15.

Surely you're not suggesting that Don (The Lap Dog) Williams has had an agenda for three years.

Good heavens.



Maybe we need a clarification from Don or Hocutt. I read the comment that tuber owes Tech $900,000. No that Tech owed him. He broke the contract. At the very least, if tech fired him I think it could be for cause with no penalty.



Oops big fingers - small keys duplicate



It's good to know Mr. Hocutt addressed Tubs' failures with him. Tubs felt the heat and was determined to stay one step ahead of the posse. In one fell-swoop he ejected himself off the hotseat (at TTU) and bought himself at least 3 more years of paychecks (at Cinc). This type of self-survival behavior may be his MO until he retires.



The Hancers are out. 3 negative votes for clarifying a question and jhmc got 2 negative votes for askinbg the question of buying back tubers contract.

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