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Former Lady Raider Candace Whitaker named new Texas Tech women's basketball coach (updated)

Posted: May 20, 2013 - 9:18am
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Candace Whitaker has been named the new head coach for the Texas Tech Lady Raiders.  Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University
Candace Whitaker has been named the new head coach for the Texas Tech Lady Raiders.
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Former Lady Raider Candace Whitaker has been named the new Texas Tech women’s basketball coach, the school announced this morning.

Whitaker, who played for the Lady Raiders from 2000-2002, spent the past season as the associate head coach at Oklahoma State.

The former Tech point guard replaces Kristy Curry, who resigned May 11 to take over the Alabama program.

“I am excited to welcome Candi back to Texas Tech,” Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt said in a statement. “It is indeed special to have a former student-athlete return to lead a program that they were a significant part of.

“Her leadership characteristics as a starting point guard and coach, her ties to West Texas, her experience as a Division I head coach, as well as the fact that she is a Red Raider makes her the perfect fit to lead the Lady Raider Basketball (program) into the future.”

Whitaker, 33, will be introduced during a news conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, Tech announced all of the assistant coaching positions of the women’s basketball team have been vacated, clearing the way for Whitaker to start with a new staff.

Assistant Shereka Wright and director of operations Grant Fausset are expected to join Kristy and Kelly Curry at Alabama.

There has been no word on assistant Katie Hensle’s future.

Whitaker's hire completes a full change of the coaching staffs of Tech’s four majors sports, all in the past year.

Former baseball coach Dan Spencer was fired last May after failing to make the NCAA tournament in each of his four seasons, posting a 44-61 record in Big 12 conference play.

Men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie resigned just before the 2012-2013 season started amid allegations of player mistreatment and health issues, and football coach Tommy Tuberville unexpectedly bolted for Cincinnati just after the completion of the regular season.

Whitaker becomes the third Tech alumni to take over one of the four major sports, joining Kliff Kingsbury (football) and Tim Tadlock (baseball).

The Canyon native played for two seasons at Seward County (Kan.) Community College before transferring to Tech.

Whitaker, who played for the Lady Raiders during the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons under her maiden name White, helped guide the Lady Raiders to two Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Former Tech coach Marsha Sharp, who was active in this hire and still works in the Tech athletic department, also released a statement:

“I think Candi Whitaker is a great fit for Texas Tech and Texas Tech is a great fit for her,” Sharp said. “Her basketball IQ and work ethic are incredible. She came out of one of the best high school programs in the country and was a great point guard at the collegiate level. She made moves early in her career that prepared her for this opportunity.”

After graduating from Tech, the former point guard spent two seasons as an assistant at Valparaiso before heading to UMKC as an assistant in 2004.

She became the head coach in December 2006, guiding the Roos to a 77-93 record during her tenure. In six seasons in Kansas City, she became the second most winningest coach in UMKC history.

In 2011, she guided the Roos to a 22-12 record and their first appearance in the WNIT.

Whitaker left UMKC in 2012 to join the Oklahoma State staff.

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Okay. So this begs the question - Why couldn't we get a

energetic Texan (Coach Walker) for the men's basketball team, and why does kh@nce dislike the basketball fan base so much ??

Oh, and a belated and heartfelt "THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH, KRISTY" for knowing when to fold and leave the table. It will be a much better game without you. Watching you recruit/coach was like watching the woman in front of me hit 16 when no face cards are showing on the table.

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Pattern?

Is it just me or do I see a pattern of only hiring previous players. Kingsbury, cool. Tadlock... Okay. Pretty soon word on the recruiting trail will be "They can't even find coaches that want to go to Lubbock, that's whay they are forced to hire former players".

Winning cures all ills, if we get on a losing streak in all sports, we're going to be up $h1t creek without a paddle.

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Sharp & "Icon"

Once again...Sharp "protects" her "icon" status....sooooooo sorry Candice!!!

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Questionable Record

I would have thought that we would have hired a coach with a winning record. That being said, I know nothing about the UMKC program before or after she took over. Getting the OKie State job turned out to be a plus because they have turned a nothing program into a competitive Big 12 program the last couple of years. As oppose to the previous post, hiring a coach from the Marsha Sharp era is a plus. How many players & coaches has she sent to the college coaching ranks anyway? It's a lot.

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Mongo

Just watch!!!

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Welcome Coach Whitaker

Welcome and congratulations. We look forward to the future success.

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Whitaker-Yes Girl for Marsha?

77-93 @ a lower to mid-level D- I school....Tech has simply just settled for an unsuccessful former Head Coach...Poor decision by Marsha and Judy Henry,obviously Hocutt had no input in this decision...Marsha is intent on keeping her lergacy intact by not allowing anyone to come in here and be successful...Gerlich is smart for not wanting to be here now,and,smart enough to know that Marsha can't be trusted...Whitaker won't last long.....Remember in 2-3 yrs you heard it here first...Buffalo-11...

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Well, she

shure iz eazy on the ayes.

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Congratulations

Congratulations Candace. Good luck in the upcoming seasons. I wish you well.

Two words of caution. Watch your back from the fickle fan base that knows more about coaching and recruiting than you do.

And, more importantly, watch you back with the reverend chancellor kent hance who will stab you in the back if he decides he does not like you.

Just make sure you do not recruit the daughter of an ESPN announcer and I think you will do well. Good luck!!

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Welcome...

Coach Whitaker! Make us proud!

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Buffalo-11

Scroll up! You come in 2nd.....but, you got it EXACTLY RIGHT!

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WELCOME HOME WHITAKER

Yea,.. we have a new coach.!! ..... That's what most of us wanted!! so let's sit back and enjoy the ride. ..... bet in the first 2 months, she'll do more to connect with the community than the previous coach (I shall not utter that name again)...(is that considered using the "C" word) he he..

1) She is Hot...

2) At least you don't have to guess which eye she is looking at you with. (I know that was wrong... I appologize for that).

3) She's been there.. done that.. knows the system, knows the fans, knows the Big 12, worked her way up and had knocks and knowledge along the way.

4) She is Hot.. bet she'll gets lots of camera action ( and dresses better than those ugly pant suits the last coach wore).

5) Was a strong headed determined point guard..(they are fiesty).

6) Everyone, Please give her at leat 3 years before throwing her into the tar pit... we all know, we have a really young team next year.. the forwards are sound (baker is actually a forward an not a post-but don't knock her effort).. only 1 guard with any playing time back on the team.. lots of new guards (6 really, since the 2 were hurt last year)...hopefully will recruite 2 true post players(that actually play and score) to go with the 2 forwards that have already committed for the 2014 season.

7) I Will get season tickets again, after dropping them 2 years ago. and Plan on making the Drive from Coppell to Tech more often.

8) HOPE 2013-14 is a Magical Year for the Tech Program and Community....... "Get Your Guns Up"

Yea... we have a new coach :)

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pb1

You really are!!!!!!!!!!

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Lets see

Let's see what she would do with the program. I'm not going to kill her like a few of you because she went 77-90 at UMKC, a lot of you don't know that that school doesn't put a lot money in their program like Tech, she had to play a lot of what they call money games agaist bigger funded teams with better players. I would bet a lot of the so called coaches on here couldn't have done better, hell a bunch of you would have been worse, so I'm not going to get upset, hell her 77 wins is second most in that schools history so you know it wasn't a great job, i also like the fact she knows about the play in the Big 12, better than somebody who's never coached in the conference,and the fact she can get in good with some of the state best players and some of tbe high school coaches is what Tech needed.

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@pete

What are you talking about. I wished the new coach luck and you call me names. Shame on you.

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