New Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis offered his take on the school’s search for a new basketball coach during an introductory news conference Monday.
“I have the highest level of confidence in (Athletic Director) Kirby Hocutt,” said Nellis, who previously served as the president at the University of Idaho. “Certainly he’s been keeping me briefed on that search.
“I think Kirby is making excellent progress in identifying key candidates, and I don’t really have a time line outlined that we’ve talked about, but I think we just want to make sure we get the job done right.”
Tech’s search for a permanent basketball coach has been underway since the Red Raiders lost to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals on March 14.
Hocutt has not announced a time line for making a hire.
Current interim coach Chris Walker, who guided Tech to an 11-20 record after taking over for Billy Gillispie just three weeks prior to the season, is one of the candidates for the position.
Other candidates who Hocutt has met with, according to sources: Former Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton, Indiana assistant Steve McClain and Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson.
News of a meeting with Hinson was first reported by Rivals.com.
Fans and candidates aren’t the only ones who have a close eye on the situation.
McDonald’s All-American Keith Frazier, a guard out of Dallas Kimball, is reportedly set to choose between Tech and SMU on Thursday.
Frazier, recently named the Dallas Morning News player of the year, has built a strong relationship with Walker, his lone recruiter at Tech, so Tech’s choice of coach is likely to play a big role in his college decision.
There are currently no players signed or orally committed to join Tech next season.
Staff reporter Brittany Hoover contributed to this report.
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