Texas Tech hires former Kentucky coach Gillispie

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech hired Billy Gillispie as the new men's basketball coach, two seasons after he was fired at Kentucky.

Gillispie will be introduced Wednesday at a news conference, school athletics spokesman Blayne Beal said Sunday. Gillispie replaces Pat Knight, who was fired this month.

In 2009, Kentucky fired Gillispie after the Wildcats went 40-27 in his two seasons and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in 17 years.

He agreed to a five-year contract.

Gillispie, 140-85 in his seven seasons as a Division I coach, led UTEP and Texas A&M to remarkable turnarounds. Texas Tech officials are hopeful he can do the same in Lubbock.

In 2004, he led UTEP to its first NCAA appearance since 1992 after it went 24-8 and won a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.

At A&M, the Texas native led the Aggies to three consecutive 20-win seasons and Gillispie was chosen AP Big 12 coach of the year in 2005.

Five months after his firing at Kentucky, in August 2009, Gillispie was arrested on a drunken driving charge. In November 2009, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.

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