Dan is Done

Dan Spencer was officially fired on Monday morning, and now the process will begin to find his replacement.

It became official on Monday morning as Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt took to the podium and announced the firing of head baseball coach Dan Spencer.

"Yesterday, we made a decision to make a change in the leadership to our baseball program," Hocutt said in a press conference on Monday.

Associate head coach Tim Tadlock, who was hired in the fall, will serve as the interim head coach and take care of day-to-day operations until Spencer's replacement can be found.

Tadlock will be a candidate for the head coach position, Hocutt said, and Tadlock has shown interest in the opening as well.

"Tim Tadlock is a tremendous baseball coach," Hocutt said. "I don't know if there's anyone in the State of Texas that has the recruiting connections that he has, I don't know if there's anyone that's more respected amongst Major League Scouts than Tim Tadlock, or especially within the junior college ranks as coach Tadlock. We're going to take this search and this process step by step, and Tim's expressed interest to become the manager here, we will visit with him at the right time about that and he will be a strong candidate."

According to a news release from Texas Tech Athletics, the nationwide search for the new head coach of the Red Raider Baseball program will begin immediately.

"In the coming weeks we will be very focused, diligent and determined to identify the right leader that can come in establish and build a culture that will lead this program to Omaha," Hocutt said.

"That is our goal."

At this time, Hocutt said there have been inquiries about the job opening, but at this time will not release any of that information.

Spencer's 2012 squad finished just three games over .500 at 29-26, but a dismal 7-17 in Big 12 Conference play. In his time at Tech, Spencer's teams were never able to post a league mark above .500.

Despite his squad finishing not on a high note, Hocutt expressed his appreciation and well wishes to Spencer as he goes down the road.

"I want to thank Dan Spencer," Hocutt said. "Obviously the season did not go the way any of us had hoped, but Dan is a good man. Dan is a Red Raider and we wish him only success as he moves forward."

Now moving forward for the Red Raiders will try and find just the third coach to lead the Red Raider program since 1987 – Larry Hays (1987-2008), Dan Spencer (2008-2012).

The one thing, among many that Hocutt stressed in the news conference was getting Texas Tech back to national prominence, where the program has been before with the nine NCAA Regional appearances and four conference championships in program history.

In the last three seasons, the Red Raiders have not come even close to their goals with 5th place, 7th place and 9th place finishes in the last three seasons. In the Dan Spencer era, the Red Raiders have not finished in the Top 5 of the Big 12 standings.  

In the end it wasn't just this season that cost Spencer his job, Hocutt said, it was just the last few seasons all put together that contributed to this decision.

Now it will be time to find the new head coach and Hocutt said they will be looking for the right person to get this program back on track and will take as much time needed to get the right person.

"Our focus in the task in front of us, is simple," he said. "That is to identify the right individual to lead our program back to the elite level. Make no mistake, at Texas Tech we expect to compete for championships."

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