As a guy who's been around the Texas Tech athletic program a very long time, I don't know that I've ever seen a coach come in and change the attitude, outlook and feel of a program for a positive change as quickly as Tommy Tuberville has to put his stamp on the Red Raider football program.
He hit the ground running under some slightly adverse conditions considering the fractured fan base and the messy and abrupt departure of Mike Leach. I wish Leach and his family nothing but the best. I just hope his "best" does not come at the expense of Texas Tech. I appreciate all Leach did for the program. Texas Tech gained a great deal of notoriety and public attention with his offense and wacky ways. Having said that, he is no longer our coach. He is history … smoke … vapor … gone.
Tommy Tuberville and staff are here now and they represent the future of the program.
It does not take any long study to note the differences already at work. Perhaps the most notable and beneficial distinction is that Tuberville is a complete head coach. In the 6 months he's been on board, he's already made more appearances before various Red Raider Club groups, spoken to more civic organizations and, quite possibly, signed more footballs and had more general autograph sessions than any coach I could possibly name in the history of Texas Tech. He's traveled far and wide meeting the Red Raider faithful leaving new friends in his wake. He makes a positive and professional impression everywhere he goes. All this is paying off in spades with a new stream of donations he is absolutely not afraid to solicit.
He embraces this responsibility and part of the job as much as coaching.
It is my understanding something in the neighborhood of $1.5 million has already been raised through his aggressive efforts to that end since he's been here … and it is ongoing. What a pleasant change and departure from the past.
That brings me to my most recent visit to the football training facility. We've already documented in pictures the changes taking place inside the FTF and at Jones AT&T Stadium. Raiderpower's own favorite son photographer "ttured" routinely shares his pictures on this site. Nonetheless, I took my own little walking tour earlier today (camera in hand) of the new Hellas Matrix synthetic turf practice field nearing completion just south of the football offices. In a word, it is SWEET. It's a full size field complete with red end zones and a massive double T at the 50-yard line. The north end zone says Texas Tech while the south end zone displays Red Raiders.
Enjoy the quick snaps that follow. (Disclaimer: They should not to be confused with the quick snaps of OC Neal Brown's NASCAR offense.)
Don't be alarmed by the concrete blocks scattered around the field. They're merely weights on the colored inlaid turf that was glued in place as part of the installation process.