LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech’s search for its new basketball coach didn’t take long and didn’t have far to go.
Mark Adams, the Texas Tech graduate who was born about 40 miles from the Lubbock campus and spent the past five seasons as an assistant to the Red Raiders, was introduced Tuesday night as their head coach.
“I love basketball, but I also love West Texas and I love Texas Tech,” Adams said. “This is my home. And I can stay home.”
Adams landed his dream job at his alma mater by replacing Chris Beard after his departure last Thursday to become the new coach of his alma mater, rival of the Big 12, Texas.
Adams was introduced to a live crowd inside the school’s basketball field that included his 90-year-old mother, football coach Matt Wells and other Red Raiders head coaches.
Within minutes of his speech, Adams thanked Beard, drawing immediate boos from a crowd of mostly students. The players were sitting on the floor with Adams’ coaches and relatives.
“Wow, this bunch is going to turn on you pretty quickly,” Adams said as he glanced behind him at athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who made no secret of his disappointment in announcing Beard’s departure last week, two years after he led Texas Tech to the national championship. championship game.
“I wouldn’t be here without Coach Beard,” Adams said. “I appreciate that he gave me the opportunity to train with him. He has done a lot for Texas Tech. He is a friend of mine. I can be here as a head coach and it is because of him.”
Adams, known as a defensive guru, was on staff for Beard’s five seasons with the Red Raiders after being with him during a 30-5 season that included a first-round NCAA tournament win at Little Rock in 2015-16, before they went to Texas Tech.
Hocutt said Adams’ experience, pride and commitment to the program and college made him the ideal choice to be the new coach.
“We are an emerging giant in the world of college basketball and we are not going anywhere but forward,” Hocutt said to a cheer before introducing Adams.
Adams graduated from Texas Tech in 1979, where he was previously director of basketball operations from 2013 to 2015.
He has a 554-244 record in 23 seasons as head coach at Clarendon College (1981-82), Wayland Baptist (1983-87), West Texas A&M (1987-92), Texas Pan-American (1992-97) and Howard College (2004-13).
Hocutt revealed Adams’ selection in a social media post Monday night, just before Big 12 Baylor School won the national championship over previously undefeated Gonzaga. That was the first NCAA title game played since Texas Tech’s overtime loss to Virginia two years before the pandemic.
When Beard left for the Longhorns last week, Hocutt said he would be part of a four-person search committee and that an outside firm would also be hired to help with the process. Many past and current players publicly campaigned for Adams to be promoted.
Second-year guard Kevin McCullar, who averaged 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds this season, responded to the news that Adams got the job with a Twitter message Monday night that read, in part, “We have unfinished business! ” and then in bold red and larger letters, “I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE.”
“We’re going to build something great here,” Adams said. “We’re not done yet, okay? We’re not done yet. We’re just starting. We’re not committing. We’re not settling. We’re building. We’re growing. We’re moving forward.”
Beard was 112-55 in five seasons with the Red Raiders. He was The Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2019 when he led Texas Tech to a 31-7 score and a NCAA tournament title loss to Virginia in overtime, a year after they reached the NCAA Elite Eight. The Red Raiders reached the second round of this season’s tournament.