Gillispie era ends at Texas A&M

All of the speculation is finally over. Sources close to the University of Kentucky's athletic department confirmed Friday that the Wildcats have hired Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie, less than a week after he agreed to a new contract with the Aggies worth $1.75 million.

Gillispie becomes Kentucky's sixth coach in the last 76 years.

Gillispie will replace Tubby Smith, who left for Minnesota after much speculation surrounding his future in Kentucky.

Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne granted Kentucky permission to speak to Gillispie on Thursday night. The news broke by Friday morning that Gillispie would be leaving his home state of Texas.

The Aggies hired Gillispie from UTEP in 2004. A&M made it to the NIT his first season as head coach, and the NCAA tournament during his final two.

An Aggie fan favorite, Gillispie rallied Texas A&M's faithful around basketball for the first time in decades. Following Gillispie's success, Texas A&M committed to significant improvement in facilities. The school-wide renewal in dedication to the program accompanied the momentum that Gillispie created among a proud, widely-considered "football school," bringing national basketball attention to College Station.
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