Texas Tech President Responds to Chris Beard’s Departure, the Future of the Program
A measured Texas Tech President Dr. Lawrence Schovanec joined Ryan Hyatt's Raiderland Friday, just one day after it was announced that former Texas Tech head men's basketball coach Chris Beard would be leaving the program to take over at the University of Texas.
Dr. Schovanec and Hyatt discussed the departure of Beard and what that means for the program, the strength of the program, Hocutt and the search committee, Under Armour and many other topics of note.
You can listen to the entire interview here:
In my opinion, there are five main points that Schovanec touched on that are of major importance to not only Texas Tech basketball, but to the Texas Tech athletic department.
The first main point brought forth by Dr. Schovanec was that the search committee put forth by AD Kirby Hocutt in his press conference yesterday and have already met and planned multiple interviews.
"We met this morning and just as I am sitting here another interview popped up on my calendar," Dr. Schovanec said. "It was a very good meeting."
Secondly, there's a reason that the committee is acting so fast. Dr. Schovanec understands that the university doesn't want to lose the momentum that was generated by Beard and the program in the last five seasons.
"We have great momentum in this program, and we were totally committed to doing whatever it took to help Coach Beard win a national championship here," Dr. Schovanec said. He later expanded on the contract talks that broke down between Beard and Hocutt.
"I think that resolve and that commitment is stronger than ever, and we're highly motivated to make sure that this program continues to move in the direction it has for the past few years," he said.
If you're worried that Hocutt and Dr. Schovanec are going to try and take the cheap route to hire the next guy, it sure seems like that is not Texas Tech's line of thinking.
Another point from Dr. Schovanec was backing up Hocutt and his resolve to keep Chris Beard in Lubbock.
As early as Monday, March 29th, after failing to get Beard signed during the season, Dr. Schovanec said he "picked up a sense that maybe, [Beard] was divided on what he really wanted to do." Dr. Schovanec then echoed Hocutt's frustration.
"Coach Beard was really effective in tapping into the culture in West Texas, when you talk about grit and pride and commitment. So those values that he so effectively tapped into, they are something we live every day and we don't think of those as marketing ploys."
I believe the phrase is: boom, roasted.
Of course, Dr. Schovanec is a better man than I as he finished the thought by thanking Beard again for his contributions to the program before saying, "we are determined to be stronger next year and down the road than we are today."
Frustration can't cloud the committee's judgement, which is why I assumed that Hocutt started the process of finding a search firm to navigate the process. That's not exactly the case. However, Dr. Schovanec clarified that a search firm will eventually be used to do background checks on the final candidates, but the committee is already doing the bulk of the legwork.
That brings me to my next point. When will a new coach be hired? Dr. Schovanec couldn't say for sure, but he did mention having a rough deadline: an emphatic "soon."
A big reason for the speed of the process is the transfer portal. With Kyler Edwards, Marcus Santos-Silva and Micah Peavy already in the portal, how many more will leave before Texas Tech even has a new coach? How many players will be missed from other schools because there is no scheme to recruit to?
"That's important," Dr. Schovanec said, "There's lots of reasons, Ryan, we need to move with a sense of urgency. And we are."
The final point from Dr. Schovanec's interview that drew my attention (there are many more if you listen to the audio) is that Beard's departure was a reminder to Schovanec that Texas Tech is home to many great coaches. Hyatt brought up Tim Tadlock's baseball team, which prompted Dr. Schovanec to say that he'd texted Tadlock to say how much he appreciated him.
Tadlock, the coach who had spurned the advances of the Longhorns before to instead stay at Texas Tech and continue winning at a high level. That's the loyalty that Texas Tech will be looking to hire next for its basketball program.
The first two guys on this list below certainly have it. Would the rest?