Well, that didn’t take long. Sports by Brooks is reporting that Billy Gillispie is already causing problems at Texas Tech. Since his hire in March, several staffers have reportedly left the program, including two secretaries, longtime trainer Jon Murray, and assistant coach Chris Beard.
Most troubling is Beard’s departure, which occurred after “multiple, heated altercations” with Gillispie that included the coach cussing out Beard in front of Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt. The last incident had to be physically be broken up by Hocutt, and spawned from Beard’s concerns over Gillispie’s mistreatment of his employees, players, and “fast and loose” recruiting tactics. However, reading Texas Tech’s press release concerning Beard’s exit, you would never know things were less than friendly:
“We hate to lose Chris,” Gillispie said in the statement. “He did a fantastic job and we appreciate the effort. He has been an important part of the program for several years and in the time we were together, it was obvious he has a great love for this university and this community.”
Beard could not be reached for comment.
“I’ve enjoyed and appreciate the opportunity to coach at Texas Tech University,” Beard said in a statement. “My family and I have equally enjoyed living in Lubbock. I wish Texas Tech nothing but the best.”
Sports by Brooks’ sources say that Beard never made the final statement, and was paid a large sum to sign a confidentiality agreement and make a quiet departure. Beard served as a Texas Tech assistant for nine years under Bob and Pat Knight, and agreed to stay on under Gillispie, who had apparently been a fan of Beard’s for some time, courting him as an assistant coach in the past. Needless to say, Kirby Hocutt and the Texas Tech athletic department are more than concerned about the situation and “Gillispie’s increasingly erratic behavior and well-chronicled fondness for, shall we say, a spirited off-court lifestyle.”
Another sad turn for Gillispie, who is clearly squandering any second chances he’s been given.