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AD Hocutt carries "sense of determination" into coaching search

Busy year for Tech athletic director will culminate with biggest task of Lubbock tenure

Posted: December 9, 2012 - 4:55pm  |  Updated: December 10, 2012 - 1:06am
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Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt discusses the departure of head football coach Tommy Tuberville on Saturday.
Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt discusses the departure of head football coach Tommy Tuberville on Saturday.
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There has been no shortage of work landing on the desk of Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt this year.

In May, Hocutt fired baseball coach Dan Spencer after a mostly unsuccessful four-year stint, then replaced him with assistant Tim Tadlock.

This fall he navigated through a tumultuous saga surrounding former basketball coach Billy Gillispie, who eventually resigned under scrutiny and was replaced, on an interim basis, by Chris Walker.

A long-term solution for the basketball program, whether it be Walker or someone else, will have to be constructed by the end of the spring.

Add in his work with football stadium-enhancement plans and a new television deal, among other daily tasks, and it’s been a full docket for the 41-year-old administrator.

If all that wasn’t enough, Hocutt now faces the most important days of his still-fresh tenure in Lubbock: Finding the next football coach in a football-crazed town.

It’s a challenge, Hocutt said on Saturday, he didn’t expect to be taking on this month. Tommy Tuberville assured Hocutt in a meeting on Friday that he was dedicated to the future of Tech football. A day later, Tuberville was on a flight to Cincinnati to become the next head coach of the Bearcats.

Hocutt expressed eagerness on Saturday to shake off the shock and begin his mission of finding the right replacement for Tuberville, knowing full well what Tech’s fan base expects from its program.

“A sense of determination,” Hocutt said when asked what his overriding emotion is as he begins this search, “a sense of determination to get a leader in here who is committed to Texas Tech University, who wants to be ingrained with the fabric of Lubbock, with West Texas, and a winner.”

The search will land squarely on Hocutt’s shoulders. He indicated Saturday that he likely won’t use a search firm. He is confident in the network he has built during his career in athletics, confident in himself to land a coach who can win.

“It’s my intention to move forward with the contacts and the relationships that I have developed in the profession,” Hocutt said. “I’ve worked very hard to develop those. That being said, there may be a particular service in the coming days that I identify that I’d like some assistance with. If that’s the case, then I’ll consider it at that time.”

Hocutt was asked on more than one occasion on Saturday whether he felt his responsibility of hiring the next head coach was also an opportunity to unite a community of fans that has at times been divided since the controversial firing of Mike Leach in 2009.

He was also asked whether he believed the next coach at Tech needed to embrace the identity the school has garnered during the past decade as being a program that thrives on high-flying, pass-happy offense.

Hocutt answered by repeatedly arriving at the same word — fit.

“Fit is very important to me,” he said, “and I think finding the right fit for Texas Tech is critical at this point in time. We want a winner, leader, who is going to position us to compete at the highest levels competitively. Our goal is very simple. Our goal is to be the best college football program in the country, to compete for Big 12 championships and to compete for national championships. We’ve been at the top of the college football world before and we’re going to get back to the top.”

So who does Hocutt think can be the coach to attain those lofty goals?

A number of names have surfaced in the hours since Tech’s coaching search began. Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, Clemson coordinators Chad Morris and Brent Venables and Baylor coach Art Briles are among an early crop of potential targets, but as of Sunday it was unclear which numbers Hocutt would begin dialing first.

He declined to discuss specific candidates after his news conference on Saturday. He had no trouble, though, discussing his optimism about the upcoming process.

“We’re going to do what it takes to get the best head coach in the country here,” he said. “We’ve got great resources, and we’ve got as passionate, committed of a fan base and donor base as anyone in this country. So we’ll do what it takes to get the right person.”


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nick.kosmider@lubbockonline.com • 766-8735

george.watson@lubbockonline.com • 766-2166

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Two names to consider:

(1) Houston Texan's defensive coordinator and former Dallas Cowboy Head Coach Wade Phillips.

(2) David Dean Head Football Coach at Valdosta State. His direct phone number is (229) 333-5844 and he will be coaching once again on Saturday in the NCAA playoff Championship game. 42-15 in his sixth season with the Blazers.


golly, "top of college football world"

I've only been a Tech fan since 1950. I guess I missed that "top of the football world".

Maybe he meant back when Coach Leach was here & I felt we could beat anybody on any given saturday - even if that opponent was 31 points ahead in the second half.


Missing the Obvious

I'm sorry to say that all this speculation about Kliff or any other young rising star in the coaching business just misses the point and misses the obvious choice. We all know Jerry Jones functions as the de facto coach of the Dallas Cowboys, to the detriment of the organization but to the immense satisfaction of Jerry Jones. Now imagine a Jerry Jones without the business sense, with lots more arrogance, with a sourer disposition, with a much more dictatorial personality, with far less integrity, and with an uglier mug and what do you get? You get Kent Hance. This gives us our answer. Hance will and should appoint himself head coach and chancellor for life.


correct bernardo

God may have even already told Kent that very idea.

Let's all meditate in Hance Chapel.


Anybody watching the press conference?

What did Hocutt say?


Hocutt said...

...that he doesn't give a crap what Team Leachers (all 8 of them) think about who he hires. He listed his reason as the amount they've contributed to Texas Tech in the past (0) along with the number of them who are actually alumni of the university (0).


An opportunity

Any of you who think Hocutt and not Hance, the board, and the big boosters will make this decision, well I've got an investment opportunity for you - 500 shares of TS Investments cheap and guaranteed good as gold by Cincy's new coach.


Beta Raider

Those youngs pups think they have all the answers.



I agree we've never been at the top of the football world, not even when Leach was losing 4 games a year here.


Holcutt said

actually he said that the Hancers don't want any uniting behind any new coach.

they just want to bellyache every time they hear Leach's name & winning record mentioned. They want Leach's name to be blotted out of every Tech fans minds. He is associated with winning. Which is being de-emphasized since Leach left.


Holcutt said

He actually said that when you take out all the easy non-conference games Leach scheduled then it shows an average record of 4-4 and he hopes that the Tech fans strive for better than that.

He also seemed to prefer a new coach who represents the school with class instead of being drunk most of the time and cursing out the administrators when players parents complain of abuse.


Allow Me to Rephrase:

Sorry I asked a question pertaining to information not yet readily available. How silly of me to expect simple answers from a pack of lock-stepping Hance Youth.

One other question: Has the Chancellor's residence been renamed the Reichstag?



I don't think the Chancellor's residence will be renamed until he's finished with the $1 Billion he's raised for the university. He's already at about $990 million so it shouldn't be much longer.

Alums and Tech students are exceptionally happy to have him as our chancellor.


Don't like Leach?

That's cool; he sure isn't for everybody. But diss his record, responsible for 6 (in 10 years) of the 10 times TTU was ranked at year-end over the last ~50 years? Are you nuts?


Nick Kosmider...

Please proofread your story, or have someone else proofread your story before filing...re:

"Tommy Tuberville assured Hocutt in a meeting on Friday that WE (caps added by poster for clarity) was dedicated to the future of Tech football."

Yes, I may be dismissed as an online spelling/grammar/punctuation Nazi, but this seeming lack of proofing/editing seems to be prevalent here on lubbockonline.com...

Sincerely, from a product of Overton Elementary School, Smylie C. Wilson Junior High School, Coronado High School and Texas Tech University.

(ALL of the English teachers I experienced from Overton through Tech would frown upon the egregious errors we see DAILY here on lubbockonline.com)!


Why not Dana

Hey what about luring Dana Holgerson from WVU, although his defense stunk up the joint, even more than ours, he is familiar with the program and this last year didn't exactly do wonders for his recruiting. They went from potential Big XII champs to near the bottom of the Big XII. Bring in a good DC, or keep Kaufman. Holgerson would would satisfy the Coach X disciples and would still satisfy the other half of Tech fans. You never can tell he might go for it. It doesn't hurt to try. Wrech'em!!



....Sonny is the best fit by far and Tubs stuck us bad by waiting for Dykes to commit to Cal and then 24 hrs later walking out. That UC-Tubs discussion had to occur over at least 2-3 days, and Tubs knew that we would want Dykes. He waited.....vindictive?

Sonny is West TX through and through....did wonders at La. Tech and can recruit La./TX. Cal is not a good fit, but unfortunately, I dont see him backing out of the deal. (Sonny must be aching inside, we all know he wants to come "home" to the Tech job. Missed it by a day or two.)

Give it a shot Kirby....or at least check with Hance/regents to see if they might consider it, and press Dykes hard. Burning a bridge on the West Coast-PAC12....who cares?.

Brown should also be considered now that Tubs wont be messing with his offense anymore. Of course Kingsbury and Holgorsen should be considered.


Leach was never the worst

For the past two years your Red Raiders have been the worst Big 12 football team in Texas. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. His record against OU was pretty good also--better than UT's. Nebraska, I think we won 5 in a row. He probably beat OSU more than they beat us. I don't remember them beating us at home.

Why don't you stow the dumping on Leach. The final record has been written on Tubberville and he was a bust. Lets move on.




Success has come at extraordinary levels for Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen during his five years guiding the program. Petersen is the winningest active coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, boasting a 61-5 record for a winning percentage of .924. The mark is the second-highest amongst active coaches at any four-year institution, regardless of division or association. He is also one of just six coaches nationally to have won multiple Bowl Championship Series games at his current school.

Under “Coach Pete” the Broncos have put together five-consecutive 10-win seasons, in addition to capturing four Western Athletic Conference Championships and winning three bowl games. The Broncos have gone undefeated twice under Petersen – 13-0 in 2006 and 14-0 in 2009 – capping each season with a victory in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Following the 2010 season, Petersen was unanimously selected as the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year, awarded annually to a coach who represents the highest ideals both on and off the field. He was also recognized in the offseason as having the best Academic Progress Rate (APR) average the past two reporting years for FBS head coaches.

Petersen is also the only individual to win two Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year Awards, earning his first after his debut season in 2006 and his second in 2009. Boise State went undefeated during both seasons.

In addition to winning the Bear Bryant award in 2006, Petersen was a finalist for the 2006 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, a semifinalist for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award and was named the Region 4 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. He was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual and Eddie Robinson Awards in 2008, and for the Joseph V. Paterno Award in 2010.

He was also named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2009.

Considered one of the most innovative offensive minds in the collegiate coaching ranks, Petersen and his staff have guided an offense that ranks amongst the nation’s best year-in and year-out.

In Petersen’s most recent campaign, Boise State completed the 2010 season ranked second-nationally in total offense (521.31), in scoring offense (45.08) and in pass efficiency (179.94). The Broncos were also third in sacks allowed (0.62) sixth in passing offense (321.08) and 21st in rushing offense (200.23).

Under Petersen the Broncos have become a consistent presence in the national rankings, spending each of the last 37 weeks ranked in the top 25. Boise State has also made an appearance in each of the last 30 BCS Standings.

The Broncos, entering their first season in the Mountain West Conference, compiled a 38-2 record in the WAC under Petersen. The team won league championships in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and finished runner-up in 2007.

The ninth head coach in the 40-plus-year history of Boise State’s football participation at the four-year level, Petersen led the 2006 Broncos to their first undefeated season since 1958 - when the school was still a junior college – the school’s first BCS bowl berth, and the teams fifth-straight WAC title.

Petersen is the only coach since 1900 to win 13 games in his first season at the helm of an FBS team.

Petersen guided the Broncos to one of the finest seasons in school history in 2009, posting a fourth undefeated regular season in six years, winning a seventh WAC championship and finishing the season with a No. 4 ranking in the Associated Press Poll. Boise State capped its season by winning a second Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Championship with Petersen at the helm, a 17-10 Bronco victory over TCU in a match-up of undefeated teams.

In 2010, the Broncos compiled a 12-1 record, earned a 26-3 victory over Utah in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and captured a share of the WAC title for the eighth time in 10 seasons in the league. The Broncos began the season ranked No. 5 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Polls, and ultimately reached No. 2 in each – the highest ranking in school history. Boise State also reached its highest ranking in the BCS standings at No. 3.

Prior to taking over the top coaching position at Boise State in 2006, Petersen was offensive coordinator for the Broncos from 2001-05. During that time the Boise State offense featured one of the most potent attacks in the country, averaging 41.3 points per game while also finishing as the nation’s top scoring team twice (2002 and 2003). The Broncos also finished second (2004), eighth (2005) and 18th (2001) in the nation in scoring while Petersen was running the Broncos’ offense. During Petersen’s five seasons as offensive coordinator, Boise State finished in the top 15 in total offense four times, including three top-10 finishes – first in 2002, fourth in 2004 and seventh in 2003.

The Broncos also had four top-20 finishes in passing during that time, including a high ranking of fifth in 2003. Boise State also ranked in the top 25 in the country in rushing in three of the last four seasons that Petersen coached the offense, including 14th in 2004 and 15th in 2005.

As Boise State’s offensive coordinator, he was twice (2002 and 2004) a finalist for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation’s top assistant football coach.

Several players have excelled individually under Petersen in his five years as head coach; the most recent example being redshirt senior quarterback Kellen Moore.

Entering his final season as the Broncos’ signal caller, Moore has already rewritten the Boise State record books. He is currently the school’s all-time leader in career total offense (10,811), career passing yards (10,867), career pass attempts (1,219), career pass completions (831) and career touchdown passes (99).

Moore received unprecedented individual recognition for his outstanding junior campaign as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, as well as the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards. Moore was also named WAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year after guiding Boise State to its third conference title. Moore finished the 2010 season as the national pass efficiency leader (182.63), completing 273-of-383 passes for 3,845 yards and 33 touchdowns and throwing just six interceptions.

Individual honors are nothing new for Moore however, as he was also named WAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 after finishing the regular season with the nation’s top pass efficiency rating (167.35). As a sophomore he threw the second-most touchdown passes of any FBS quarterback (39) and tossed the fewest interceptions (three) of any quarterback that played in at least 10 games that year. His incredible interception to pass attempt ratio (0.69 percent; 3-of-431) broke the NCAA record for a single season. As a freshman Moore was named 2008 WAC Freshman of the Year, and he finished the season ranked 12th in the nation in passing efficiency and 24th in total offense.

In Petersen’s five years as head coach, 35 of his players earned first-team All-WAC honors and 21 others were selected second-team all-conference.

In 2010 the Broncos placed Moore, wide receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young, running back Doug Martin and offensive linemen Nate Potter and Thomas Byrd on All-WAC First Team offense. On defense, defensive ends Ryan Winterswyk and Shea McClellin, linebacker Winston Venable and defensive backs George Iloka and Jeron Johnson were also named first-team all-conference. Players who earned second-team recognition included defensive lineman Billy Winn, linebacker Byron Hout and defensive back Brandyn Thompson.

Individual success is something Boise State has grown accustomed to under Petersen’s guidance, as he has helped develop a number of players to elite levels. As Boise State’s offensive coordinator and then as its head coach, Petersen was instrumental in the development of quarterbacks Ryan Dinwiddie and Jared Zabransky, who are among the most successful collegiate signal callers in recent years. Dinwiddie, who guided the Bronco offense from 2001-03, finished as the NCAA career passing efficiency leader with a rating of 168.19. With Petersen as his quarterback coach, as well as the team’s offensive coordinator, Dinwiddie led the Broncos to a 28-6 record as a starter.

After Dinwiddie left, Petersen helped groom Zabransky into one of the nation’s most successful quarterbacks from 2004-06. Zabransky led Boise State to three-straight league titles, two undefeated regular seasons and a 32-5 record in his three years as a starter - including a 23-1 record in WAC games.

Offensive tackle Ryan Clady also excelled under Petersen. A consensus All-American in 2007, Clady decided to forego his senior year and declared himself eligible for the 2008 NFL draft. He became the first Bronco to be selected in the first round, going to Denver as the 12th-overall selection. In 2006, Petersen’s first season as head coach, Clady earned second-team All-America recognition from SI.com, while Ian Johnson (first-team SI.com and CBS Sportline; second-team Sporting News; and third-team Associated Press) and linebacker Korey Hall (second-team Sporting News) also earned All-America honors that year.

In 2009 two of Petersen’s players earned All-American honors. Moore was named first-team All-America by ESPN.com, SI.com and CBSSports.com, and senior cornerback Kyle Wilson earned second-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Associated Press. Moore was also named All-America by the Football Writers Association of America in 2010.

In his five seasons as offensive coordinator, Petersen had two players earn All-America honors – running back Brock Forsey in 2002 and offensive tackle Daryn Colledge in 2004. He also helped 12 Broncos earn first-team All-WAC honors, while two (Forsey in 2002 and Dinwiddie in 2003) were named WAC Offensive Player of the Year.

Prior to joining the Boise State staff under former head coach Dan Hawkins, Petersen had worked at Oregon as wide receivers coach. He joined the Ducks staff in 1995 and immediately helped contribute to a passing attack that ranked among the nation’s elite each of the six seasons he was an assistant. Twice during Petersen’s tenure at Oregon, the Duck offense broke the school record for single-season passing yards, and three times in the same time period the team broke the single-season school record for most touchdowns.

Prior to working at Oregon, Petersen served as the quarterbacks coach at Portland State from 1993-1994, helping the Vikings advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs both seasons.

In 1992 Petersen was the quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh. That season the Panthers established a school record for passing yards and ranked eighth-nationally in total offense and passing. In addition, he contributed to the development of first-team All-Big East Conference quarterback Alex Van Pelt, who eclipsed the school’s passing yardage totals previously held by Dan Marino.

Petersen’s success as a coach can be linked to his record-setting career as a quarterback at the University of California, Davis. As a senior with the Aggies, he was named the Northern California Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was the top-rated Division II quarterback in the nation. Petersen received second-team Kodak Division II All-America honors and still holds the Division II record for career pass completion percentage (69.6 percent). Petersen was inducted into the UC Davis Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Davis in 1988, Petersen started his coaching career at his alma mater, serving as UC Davis’ head freshman coach in 1987-88 and the receivers coach from 1989-91. Petersen holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from UC Davis. He and his wife Barbara are the parents of two sons, Jack (15) and Sam (12).


CowboysRaidersRock.....no more novels please

...geez.....is that his book or expanded resume. He is from Boise State...they play no one. Just like TCU, join the big boys conference and enjoy 4-6 losses.


A Good Coach Coming Here Is A JOKE!

Why would you think a good coach would want to come here? That's laughable. Most good coaches are very liberal minded individuals. This is not a liberal type of town. So therefore you will continue to get the Tuberville's of the world because that's what you deserve. Tuberville said in an Interview in Cincinnati "I WANT TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL AND THIS IS A PLACE WHERE I CAN DO THAT" I love it because he played all you stupid people at Tech and all the Tuberville supporters please take the pie off your face! Now you are all broken hearted! He has set your program back another 4 years. hahahahaha


no good football in liberal locales.....

"What Excuse".... please go back to UC Santa Cruz and cheer on the Banana Slugs soccer team....or hacky-sack team. :)

PS- Regarding Tubs, I said from day 1 he was a no good swindler and his first press conference re-emphasized my concerns.



Dykes could still end up in LBB. Everyone loves KK. Briles wanted to come here in 2009, but Tech wouldnt commit. Pick one, and get a move on! Move fast.

Recruits - have no fear, we will be in better shape. Tubs had split the fan base in bad way.....finger pointing, lying, throwing the old staff under the bus, asst coach merry go round, bashing TX, messing with the offense, blow outs that set school records,....you name it. And amazingly, we still had 60,000 at each game with wonderful support, despite Tubs.


Are You Guys Crazy??

1) Chris Petersen - After turning down every job in America, he's going to move to Lubbock? 2) Wade Phillips - Has always been an NFL guy. He's the worst head coach but the greatest defensive coordinator. 3) Art Briles - Things are rolling at Baylor and this would only be a lateral move. 4) Sonny Dykes - He already signed his Cal contract and I doubt he would want to leave the Bay Area after seeing it. 5)Dana Holgerson - Lateral move 6) Kliff Klingsbury - Do you really want a coach with only 5 years experience? 7) Baggage Coaches - Jim Tressel, Butch Davis, Jim Leavitt (USF), Bobby Petrino, Mark Mangino (Kansas), 8) Retreads - Tom O'Brien, Randy Shannon, Houston Nutt, Ron Zook, Gene Chizik 9) Candidate List: Central Michigan coach (whoever it is. There must be something in the water), San Jose State coach (look at what he's done for a crap program), Louisiana- Monroe or Lafayette coach, Brian Harsin, Kirby Smart, Clemson OC, and any other assistant OC or DC coordinator from a BCS conference. Every BCS coach looks solid in their position. I think that covers everyone.



We had a choice between Ruffin McNeil and Tuberville. If you ask me, we made the wrong choice. Why don't we consider Ruffin again? Cumby can run the O.


I like what Kirby is doing

Kirby is acting like the AD that the TTU publicist said he was. This decision will make or break his career and he knows it. No one else in the University wants to take any responsibility for this decision--especially after what has happened lately.

Other sources outside of the TTU family think that he is probably the best positioned AD in the country to make this decision for a school like Tech (not a Bama, UT, LSU, USC, etc.). It will be interesting to watch, but I like the first two candidates out of the box. Both have long Texas ties and strong connections within the Texas high school coaching ranks--which is a must for recruiting. Both have the ability to make Tech "Quarterback U" which Leach did.

Everyone that is posting on this site is focusing solely on the won/loss records of the candidates, as they should. I feel confident that we will find a coach that satisfys that criteria. What also must be satisfied is the new coach's ability to attract a top-notch staff. That was a BIG problem with the previous regieme.


Please do your research

Chris Peterson has turned down job after job because of his family. His son had a rare affliction that began with the discovery of a brain tumor when the child was 1. The absolute best facility for his son is practically across the street from him in Boise, so he's not leaving. In fact, he's not really even listening to anyone.



Jerry Gray

A Lubbock native and a South Plains legend at Estacado. He was an All American at Texas (twice) and all-Pro in the NFL several times and should be in the NFL Hall of Fame some day. He has experience on both the college and pro levels coaching. He still has strong ties to the community here and does charity work here. He could be a big lure to recruit Robert Johnson from Estacado, one of the best running backs in high school in the entire country if he heals from his injury. He would bring a great defensive perspective to the job not seen around here since the 1990's when Zach Thomas and Marcus Coleman were lurking in Jones Stadium. He can also use his connections to bring in a fantastic offensive coordinator and an entire staff. Kids will want to play for this guy. It is also time for Texas Tech to have an African-American Head Football coach. He is still in either his last 40's or early 50's. There is no downside to Jerry Gray being the next head coach at Texas Tech, period.


Missed another one

Is it the West Texas water or the air, but how is it that the Tech AD and Kent Hance continually miss the obvious? They should have fired Tubberville after the head smack affair and gone after Sonny Dykes. But we find out a day after Dykes has committed to Cal that Tubbs leaves Tech high & dry.

The next move should have been to go after Oklahoma State OC Todd Monken, who added a run game to Holgerson's version of the "Air Raid" and had the nations #2 offense. Monken had been the receiver's coach at Jacksnville Jaguars prior to coming to OSU. But alas, Monken is now off the board as well since he took the So. Miss job. This guy will not last there and had BCS HC written all over him.

I can't wait to see who they come up with.

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