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Texas Tech Makes the Right Choice for Red Raider Basketball

Today, Texas Tech University announced that Pat Knight’s tenure as Head Coach for Red Raider Basketball would end with the conclusion of the 2010-2011 season.  The Red Raiders Wednesday night play Missouri at the Big 12 Tournament and it will probably be their last game of the season.

It’s been a tough 3 and a half seasons for Pat Knight after taking over for his father, Bob Knight.  Pat’s overall record through the end of the 2010-2011 Regular Season is 50-60, with no NCAA Tournament appearances.

Texas Tech vs. Louisiana-Monroe November 12, 2010 (Robert Snyder, 1340TheFan.com)

In the big-business world of Division I college sports, winning and losing isn’t the only way a coach is measured.  Attendance, fund raising, graduating players and keeping your program free of NCAA violations are looked at too.   Pat Knight excelled at the last two items on the list, but towards the end of his tenure attendance took a dive.  In fact, for the last two home games of this season, it looked like no more than 3,000-4,000 fans were at the United Spirit Arena.  Remember, the attendance posted in the box score of games is tickets sold, not fans at the arena.

In one respect, it wasn’t too surprising to see the fan apathy develop towards Red Raider Basketball over the past two seasons.  No NCAA Tournament appearances since 2007, combined with a fanbase hungry for a winner, led to many disappointed fans and students.

Pat Knight (Ronald Martinez, Getty Images)

I know many of our listeners were appreciative of the effort Coaches Knight, Chris Beard, Stew Robinson and Bubba Jennings put into the team, but ultimately it didn’t turn into wins.

With the Kirby Hocutt-era now underway at Tech, it only makes sense that he is allowed to make a hire to put the Red Raider Basketball program in a different direction.

We’ve seen it too many times in Division I college sports that a new athletic director takes over a program, gives a coach on shaky ground an extra year, and ends up firing the coach after the following season.  A scenario like that doesn’t do Texas Tech, Pat Knight or any of his coaching staff any good, and realistically Tech President Guy Bailey had made his decision concerning Coach Knight’s future before their 9am meeting today.

I think Coach Knight and all of his assistants will find jobs at other universities before next season and I think Tech will be able to bring in high-caliber coach for the Red Raider Basketball program.

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What do you think?  Leave a me a comment in the box below.

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