LUBBOCK — It was quite possibly the worst kept secret in West Texas for the last two weeks.
But on Sunday, it finally became official.
"Over the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to spend significant time with Billy and I am absolutely confident that he will lead our basketball program back to the national spotlight while positively representing our university," said Hocutt, who recently met with Gillispie on Thursday in Coral Gables. "There are exciting years ahead for Red Raider basketball."
Gillispie becomes the 14th head coach in Red Raider basketball history agreeing to a five-year contract, taking over the program for Pat Knight who coached Tech for the last three seasons and was an assistant under his dad, legendary coach Bob Knight, for seven years.
"It is a great honor to be selected as the basketball coach at Texas Tech University," said Gillispie in a statement. "I am very appreciative of athletics director Kirby Hocutt, President Bailey and Chancellor Hance for allowing me the opportunity to lead this program. Texas Tech is a great school that is located in a great community and is part of one of the toughest conferences in the country. I can't wait to get started."
This will be Gillispie's second term in the Big 12 Conference after coaching Texas A&M for three seasons following a brief stint at Texas-El Paso. He took both teams to the NCAA Tournament in his second season at each school and was named WAC Coach of the Year and Naismith National Coach of the Year following the 2003-04 season.
He later earned SEC Coach of the Year honors at Kentucky, where he coached the Wildcats from 2007-09.
Gillispie will officially be introduced on Wednesday at his press conference.