Hall Of Fame: Legendary linebacker Zach Thomas was inducted to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame. He’s in good company being the 5th Red Raider inducted, joining Gabe Rivera, Dave Parks, Donny Anderson and E.J. Holub.
1,000: Texas Tech opened the 2015 season on Sept. 5 by playing its 1,000th football game all-time, which the Red Raiders won 59-45 over Sam Houston State at Jones AT&T Stadium. The program that started 90 years ago, just two years after the university’s existence, has hosted 511 home games and accounted for 551 wins, 429 loses and 23 ties overall.
Thankfully Beat Texas: For the first time since 1997, the Texas Tech football team beat Texas in Austin as the Red Raiders defeated the Longhorns 48-45 on Thanksgiving Day. It was the year to triumph in Austin, as the baseball team pulled off a win in the final game to clinch the series against the Longhorns in May. They hadn’t won back-to-back series in Austin since 1999.
One For The Books: For the Texas Tech football record book. This season marks the first time Texas Tech has had a 4,000-yard passer (Patrick Mahomes), 1,000-yard rusher (Deandre Washington), and 1,000-yard receiver (Jakeem Grant). Washington was the first to rush for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 20 years, and Grant took the crown as Texas Tech’s all-time leading receiver, passing Michael Crabtree with 3,289 receiving yards over his four year career. The Red Raiders also set a new program record for most points scored in a single season with 586, breaking the previous mark of 569 in 2008.
What A Relief: Is what many were thinking when Corey Taylor took the mound in the final inning of a nail bitter. This year Taylor lead the NCAA with a .31 ERA after pitching 57.1 innings, making him the best relief pitcher in all of college baseball. He and five of his teammates were drafted to the MLB, Taylor in the seventh round by the New York Mets.
Tip My Hat: Longtime Texas Tech baseball coach Larry Hays made history as the first to represent Texas Tech in the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. In his career from 1987-2008 he accounted for 1,500 wins, which at the time only five coaches had accomplished (now eight). He led the Red Raiders to nine NCAA tournaments and posted 11 40-win seasons.
Upset Alert: The highlight of the Texas Tech basketball season was the defeat of No. 9 Iowa State in Lubbock. The Red Raiders made their first conference win count as they beat a Top 10 team for the first time since 2009. They ended the season with a 13-19 record
Here to Stay: Women’s basketball coach Candi Whitaker extended her contract with the Lady Raiders through 2020. This came after Whitaker signed three transfers, and two top-75 high school players this past year. Recee’ Caldwell (UCLA), Jada Terry (Texas A&M), Larryn Brooks (Indiana), Brittany Brewer (No. 97 overall, No. 14 post), and Grayson Bright will join Whitaker and the Lady Raiders next season.
On Par: 2015 marked the second time (1996) the women’s golf team qualified for the NCAA Championships, but this time they had the best finish in program history. The Lady Raiders tied for fifth place and in November, Gabby Barker received Big 12 golfer of the month.
The Masters: Matias Dominguez became the first Red Raider to earn an invitation to the Masters. This came after winning the Latin America Amateur Championship. Dominguez dropped 22 pars out of the 36 holes, and finished 8-over in his Master’s debut.
We Are The Champions: Texas Tech women’s soccer claimed the Big 12 title for the first time in program history as they defeated Kansas 1-0. That marks the fourth straight season they advanced to the NCAA Championship. Janine Beck was crowned Most Outstanding Offensive player in the Big 12 Tournament and is now a semi-finalist for the Mac Hermann Award. (The highest award for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America awarded to 3 women, and 3 men).
Legacy Retired: After 23 years of coaching the men’s tennis team coach Tim Siegel retired. He leaves on a high note as the team made history by defeating the No. 1 team in the country, Oklahoma, in April. They ended the season ranked No. 19 and a second consecutive NCAA Championship, and the second time in four years having a double team in the NCAA finals. On a personal note, the Red Raider family rallied around the Siegels after a freak accident left Tim's son, Luke, hospitalized with a tramatic brain injury.
Sweet Sixteen: The women’s tennis team advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. They ended their season ranked No. 16 in the country after they recorded 14 ranked wins, including five over Top 25 opponents with one of the youngest team’s in the country.
Time to Shine: Men’s track stars JaCorian Duffield and Bradley Adkins became the first pair of teammates to place first and second in the outdoor high jump since 1939, and the first teammates in NCAA history to go 1-2 at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA meets.