First, there were two noticeable absences. Kent Hance and Josh Gray. Hance was out of town, at a meeting of chancellors in Austin with Governor Perry. As for Gray, he's already tweeted about not being at the announcement. Here's his tweet: "Stop all the rumors…I'm still going to class so where all the other stuff coming from?"
A Texas Tech source confirmed to me that Gray was in class at the time of the press conference, but was present at the team meeting. This is still very fluid, but with the other cryptic tweets from Gray and his subsequent retweets that say things to the effect of "Texas Tech finna lose an ELITE GUARD" from someone in his home town as well as his indication he'll be in Houston for the summer indicates he may not long for the haul.
The key word issued from Kirby Hocutt was "stability." He used it at least 3 times, if not more. I also thought it was key that he pointed out they had officially interviewed candidates for 19 days. Most of us thought that's when it should have ended. Hocutt also made it a point to mention that he had one recommendation to the chancellor and board of regents and that recommendation was Tubby Smith.
As for Coach Smith, he seemed very appreciative of the opportunity, but also gave a sense that he was in control and the program was in good hands for the first time in months, if not years.
Smith's message to the team was unique, but also poignant. "I have been through that before," said Smith. "At High Point University, I had 3 coaches in 4 years. You know what got me through it? My dad." Smith then told a little anecdote about having 16 other kids in his family and there wasn't any room for him to come back home.
Smith also took the opportunity to mention those in the room wearing warm-ups that, "the grass may not always be greener on the other side."
Smith mentioned Tech's facilities several times. He's very impressed with the United Spirit Arena. Facilities were a point of contingency for him at Minnesota, especially with football getting a new stadium since his arrival. Maybe the upgrade in facility for him renews his vigor to sell the program.
To say Smith and Hocutt won the press conference is probably not accurate. They didn't lose it, but there have been more spirited introductions for head coaches over the years. And maybe Kirby and Tubby know that it won't be how the Smith era begins at Texas Tech, it will be the condition of the program when Tubby Smith is finished.