Timing is Everything

As the search for the new head coach of Lady Raider basketball continues, Joshua Koch looks at the timing of it all and how Tech might have missed out on some possible head coach candidates because of it.

Rumors always swirl after a season is complete.

Is the coach staying, are they leaving, what is going to happen with the program?

Well the answer in the case of Kristy Curry and the Lady Raider basketball program came on May 11, when the now former Lady Raider head coach accepted the job at Alabama.

It is not a surprise Curry has packed her bags for the SEC, considering this marked the second time in the last three seasons that a member of the Southeastern Conference has come calling.

Many people actually expected Curry to jet for the SEC in 2011 when LSU interviewed her, since she is from Louisiana, but Tech gave her a five-year extension.

Now with just two years left on said extension, Curry has left for the SEC for Alabama.

Wonder if the new head coach will ask Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt if Tech could get Alabama on the schedule?

In Curry's time at Texas Tech, it wasn't the success that was expected, to say the least.

In her seven seasons, only two trips to the NCAA Tournament and no victories in said trips. The Lady Raiders were ousted from both trips in the first game including a loss to South Florida at the United Spirit Arena this season.

Curry had a group of five seniors that have carried the program for the past two to three seasons but entering the 2013-2014 season that senior leadership is gone and now too the head coach and staff.

Now the million-dollar question is, who is going to replace Kristy Curry?

Well in the business of national coaching searches, timing is everything and the timing of this was a little unfortunate.

If Curry would have exited earlier, there might have been the possibility of reeling in some former Lady Raiders to be the next head coach.

A few names have come up in that regard including Krista Gerlich and Sheryl Swoopes.

Gerlich, who had a successful stint at West Texas A&M going 168-53 in seven seasons, would have just had to take a short trip down the road to Lubbock but she was snagged by UT-Arlington on April 11.

Gerlich, who is better known as Krista Kirkland from her playing days, was a part of the 1993 National Championship team here at Tech.

Another member of that team, Swoopes, is also another name that was tossed around to be possibly the future head coach of the Lady Raiders down the road but she accepted her first head coaching job at Loyola University in Chicago on April 15.

So with this in mind, take both Swoopes and Gerlich off the big board.

Another name that was floated around that had Tech ties was Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair.

Blair, a 1972 and 1974 graduate of Texas Tech, has been able to guide Texas A&M in his nine seasons at the helm of the program to national prominence with the payoff coming in 2011 with a National Championship.

Now in the SEC, Blair has already come out according to a report by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and said he wants to retire at Texas A&M and is excited but has no interest in the opening.

So with the three big names off the board, who is left?

Well one option might have been assistant coach Shereka Wright who was at Tech for seven seasons as an assistant coach under Curry. But Wright has been with Curry since her playing days at Purdue and then followed her former head coach to Tech after two seasons in the WNBA. Now Wright continues the journey, as she will follow Curry to Alabama according to reports.

So who is left?

Well a few other names that have been floated out there have been Lance White, associate head coach at Florida State and longtime assistant for Marsha Sharp, Noel Johnson, head coach of Midwestern State and member of the 1993 National Championship team, Jeff Walz, head coach of Louisville and Candace Whitaker, associate head coach at Oklahoma State.

But time will tell who will be the new head coach of the Lady Raider basketball program but this will be something that will have to happen quickly.

To hopefully hold onto the recruits that Curry was able to get to commit is going to be key for the new ball coach whoever it may be. Then getting a staff and system in place in a short amount of time will be the other challenge.

But what can be definitely said is the time is now to name the new head coach and expect in the next week to have a new head coach named so that the process mentioned above can begin as soon as possible.


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