Texas Tech hopes to name an interim basketball coach within the next two weeks, university spokesman Blayne Beal said Friday.
Billy Gillispie resigned on Thursday, citing health concerns, after just one season. With only about three weeks left until the start of official practice on Oct. 12, Tech faces a sense of urgency in finding Gillispie’s replacement.
Chris Walker, who last season was the associate head coach under Gillispie, has been placed in charge of day-to-day operations, but it is unclear whether Walker will be given the interim title for the upcoming season.
Beal said Hocutt and the university are “looking at all options” in its search for an interim coach.
Walker did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday. Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt, through Beal, declined to comment on the search for Gillispie’s replacement.
The program has been in a state of flux for more than three weeks. On Aug. 31, Gillispie was hospitalized at University Medical Center amid allegations of player mistreatment of NCAA violations regarding practice time.
Tech was using a coach-by-committee approach to monitor individual workouts until Sept. 11, when Hocutt placed Walker, a former Villanova assistant, in charge.
Gillispie’s resignation brings more uncertainty to a program that has struggled with stability in recent seasons. The coach who begins the upcoming season at the helm will be Tech’s fourth since 2008, when Bob Knight resigned midway through the season.
Pat Knight coached the team for three-plus seasons before being fired in 2011. Tech then turned to Gillispie, who went 8-23 overall and 1-17 in Big 12 Conference play during his lone season.
Tech’s new coach will face an uphill battle this season. One of the team’s top recruits, Wannah Bail, left the program after the first session of summer classes. Another top recruit, forward Aaron Ross, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear during an offseason practice and will miss the upcoming season.
The Red Raiders return just one senior in Ty Nurse. Of the team’s five juniors, only one, Jaye Crockett, has played a game for the Red Raiders.
Sophomore Jordan Tolbert is the only returning player who scored in double figures last season (11.5).
Tech has not yet released its schedule for the upcoming season.
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