Tim Tadlock’s best friend at the moment is his iPhone.
As the interim head coach of the Texas Tech baseball program — and the only coach at the moment after the firing of Dan Spencer and the rest of the staff last week — Tadlock and his cell phone are the links between him and current players, incoming recruits, Tech administrators and program support staff during this time of transition.
“It wasn’t any fun early on, but at the same time you can’t dwell too much on what happened or worry about what’s going to happen,” Tadlock said Wednesday. “You’ve just got to do your job every day.
“The first order of business is business as usual every day. You go where you need to go and see who you need to see.”
Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt charged Tadlock with holding the program together while the search for a new head coach is conducted. That search will include Tadlock, who expressed interest in the job and whom Hocutt called a “strong candidate” last week after firing Spencer.
Hocutt attended the Big 12 Conference meetings in Kansas City and was unavailable for comment, according to Tech spokesman Blayne Beal.
Hocutt said last week the search for a new head coach would be carried out in a timely and diligent manner. Tadlock said he and Hocutt have “visited” about the job but not yet had a formal interview. Tadlock is not assuming he will land the job, but he considers himself ready for the task.
“I’m not the best guy at bragging,” Tadlock said. “But I think if you go back and look at my track record over the last 20 years ... I think it speaks for itself.”
Indeed, Tadlock, who played at Tech from 1990 to 1991, does have an impressive resume. As the head coach at Grayson College in Denison, he compiled a 435-127 record and led the Vikings to consecutive junior college national championships in 1999 and 2000. His .774 winning percentage between 1997 and 2005 was the highest of any college coach at a two- or four-year school.
Tadlock then spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma where he had four recruiting classes ranked in the top 20, three of which contributed to the Sooners’ run to the College World Series in 2010.
But most important is what he could do for a Tech offense that slumped heavily in Big 12 play this season, hitting a paltry .244 in 24 league games. The Red Raiders finished ahead of only Kansas in league batting average and scored 3.4 runs per game.
“We had some guys have great individual years and maybe not the best year for the whole team,” Tadlock said. “You can say any number of things might be the problem. You could go back to the week before we played Baylor and we got out of (sync) with our pitching rotation. That would be the one thing I would say that I’d like to go back and change.”
At OU, Tadlock’s teams hit .300 or better in each of his six seasons, and the 2009 and 2010 teams combined for 195 home runs, leading the Big 12 each season.
That reputation has served Tadlock well over the past week in communicating with current and future players who might be concerned about the state of the program.
“Everybody’s said they’re in, and they’ve been positive about it,” Tadlock said regarding Tech’s 16-member recruiting class for the fall. “The kids are committed to Texas Tech and are excited about coming here.”
Tadlock also expressed that same commitment, though he did not say whether he would stay on as an assistant if Hocutt were to hire someone else to be the new head coach.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was leave (Oklahoma) because of the relationships with the players, the parents, the support staff and the administration,” Tadlock said. “When you recruit a whole team you feel like can get to Omaha, it’s not easy to walk away from them.
“We walked away knowing (Texas Tech) is a special place.”
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