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Gary Blair offers insight on Lady Raider opening, says he plans to retire at A&M

Blair said he spoke with Marsha Sharp this weekend, offered his advice

Posted: May 13, 2013 - 9:47pm  |  Updated: May 14, 2013 - 12:13am

Gary Blair is about as eager as anyone to see where Texas Tech goes with its women’s basketball vacancy.

As the Texas A&M women’s coach put it, he expects to see either a “Kliff Kingsbury” or “Tubby Smith” kind of hire — in other words, a top-notch, young assistant ready for the big time, or a current head coach looking for a place to retire.

Kristy Curry resigned her position as Tech’s coach Saturday morning, leaving for Alabama.

Blair said former Lady Raider coach Marsha Sharp gave him a call after Curry resigned, asked if he had any interest and picked his brain about the opening.

The 67-year-old Tech alumnus made it very clear he was not offered the Tech job, and he plans to retire at A&M.

Blair said he imagines Sharp has called a half-dozen of her coaching friends to find out their opinion.

“That’s what friends are for,” Blair said in a phone interview. “It was definitely not a job offer — it was more or less, ‘Is there interest?’”

Blair is interested in the Tech program in different ways — he wants to see the Lady Raiders get back to the level they used to be.

He spoke highly of Curry, but he said the game has changed out in West Texas.

The shift of the top talent in the Lone Star State from West Texas to the Metroplex and Houston areas has made it harder for Tech to remain the power it was in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Blair said coaching searches are all about timing. At another time or place in his life, he would “have come running” back to Lubbock. He said Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt is fresh off two outstanding hires in Smith for men’s basketball and Kingsbury for football. He said he believes Smith will retire at Tech, and the only thing that would have made the Kingsbury hire better is if the 33-year-old coach brought Aggie Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel to Tech along with him.

However, he said it might be tough to find that perfect fit in the middle of May, but he was “honored” to be thought of.

“I’ll be 68 in August,” said Blair, who will be inducted into the women’s basketball Hall of Fame next month. “You need a younger version of Gary Blair or a younger version of Marsha Sharp. The job can get done again. What you need is a Sheryl Swoopes to come out of high school again out there, and you need a Krista Kirkland, and you might have the perfect storm.”

Blair said his five head-coaching stops — A&M, Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin and two high-school jobs — have all had that perfect timing.

He acknowledged that it is tough to follow a highly successful coach such as Sharp, and he had a message for some Tech fans to stop living in the past.

“Please tell all those bloggers to get off of their history books,” he said.

Blair will get to coach against Curry twice this upcoming season, he said, and he wishes her well.

He said he also hopes Tech fans will realize how good of a coach she was.

“You will not realize how good of a person you had right there — you had a damn good coach with her there,” Blair said. “Sometimes you’ve got to get the right players in there, and sometimes it’s the demographic — where you’re located. Tech will be back, just like they always are in every sport.”

thomas.magelssen@lubbockonline.com

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Hmmmmmmm......

“Please tell all those bloggers to get off of their history books,” he said.

Blair will get to coach against Curry twice this upcoming season, he said, and he wishes her well.

He said he also hopes Tech fans will realize how good of a coach she was.

“You will not realize how good of a person you had right there — you had a damn good coach with her there,” Blair said. “Sometimes you’ve got to get the right players in there, and sometimes it’s the demographic — where you’re located. Tech will be back, just like they always are in every sport.”

WOW!!!! I GUESS GARY BLAIR DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT EITHER HUH??????? It's amazing the perspective you get from another coach who's in the same profession and actually knows what it's like to be the head of a program.

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Sorry Gary, but you're wrong, let us count the ways !!

WRONG - The 'bloggers' out here mentioning Sharp were Curry supporters putting Marsha down. Good thing Kliff got out of there when he did, because it appears being an aggie for too long addles one's brain and makes one spout inaccurate statements. Gary, you really should research the facts before speaking curryisms.

WRONG 2 - Very few around here want a "Tubby Smith" kind of hire. Old overpaid losers looking to retire are the opposite of a Chris Walker or Kliff Kingsbury. Knight retired at TTU, and look what he left us. Sorry Tubby, but don't do us any BK favors, okay?

WRONG 3 - He has to speak highly of Curry, coaching is a close-knit profession, and she will be in his league next year.

WRONG 4 - We don't need no stinking aggies to tell us how stupid we are, that's oxymoronic. We already do realize how 'damn good' of a coach we had here: 46-70 with ZERO ncaa tournament wins.

WRONG 5 - ' Blair said, “Sometimes you’ve got to get the right players in there" ' - ALWAYS, not sometimes. Players win games. Coaches recruit players. Krusty didn't. Sounds like the 'aggie' is going to your head.

RIGHT # 1 !!!!!!! - "WOW!!!! I GUESS GARY BLAIR DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT EITHER" - Imagine that, RedRaider20007 finally stumbled into saying something that's true !!!

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Hey stooges, coach Blair is

Hey stooges, coach Blair is calling you clowns out! Factsrfacts & feaco maybe you 2 can give him a history lesson on the big12-2 and get your sidekicks coyote and lodotxA&M to dig up some irrelevant fiction. I'm sure with all their infinite wisdom & knowledge they have knocked noggins and come up with their short list of candidates.

Since thats all they do is complain about coaches, BOR, and political figures it would be hilarious to hear your expert opinions and let everyone sit back criticize them. No one is good enough for Texas tech by you stooges

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THIS HIRE BETTER BE GOOD

TEXAS TECH NEEDS TO HIRE A MAN OR A MARRIED WOMAN FOR THE COACHING JOB. WE DO NOT NEED TO DO WHAT OTHER UNIVERSITIES DO AND HIRE WOMEN WHO ARE NOT MARRIED. UNMARRIED WOMAN COACHES HAVE LOOSE MORALS AND CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUNG GIRLS!!!!! NOW WITH WHISKEY SALES IN THE CITY IMAGINE HOW EASY IT WILL BE FOR A COACH OF LOOSE MORALS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUNG ATHLETES. THIS CITY AND BASKETBALL TEAM NEED TO GET THEIR PRIORITIES "STRAIT" AND HIRE A COACH WHO WILL TEACH GIRLS ABOUT BECOMING GOOD WIVES AND MOTHERS AND NOT LURE THEM INTO SIN WITH WHISKEY

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What?

"Tech will be back just like they always are in every sport." Which sport is that? The pom squad and meat judging team did well this year but I didn't know these were "sports". Girls sports, golf, etc. if you say so.

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@ LBK

Dude i dont know what you are on but that is HILLARIOUS

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haha.

This is ludicrous.

Why are you even talking about Gary Blair?

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Gerald Myers screwed this up

by not hiring Gary Blair 20 years ago.

Blair and Curry are buddies. They coached together. He's not going to blast her.

Blair knows that since Curry is now in the SEC he has two more certain victories.

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