Billy Gillispie will make his return to SEC Basketball tonight when his Tarleton State Texans men’s basketball team travels to Texas A&M.
A homecoming for Gillispie, the 61-year-old will be back in College Station where he coached the Aggies from 2004-07, before the University of Kentucky hired him away to coach the Wildcats. We now know it was not the right move for either party, but Gillispie has since landed back on his coaching feet at Tarleton, a program brand new to NCAA Division 1.
Tarleton competes in the Western Athletic Conference, and won its first ever game as a Division 1 school with a 103-48 win over Dallas Christian College, an NCCAA school, the day before Thanksgiving.
Prior to coaching the Texans, Gillispie spent four seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Ranger Junior College, where he reached the 2019 NJCAA championship game and won JUCO National Coach of the Year honors.
He told ESPN over the summer, “I’m not one of those guys that thinks, the grass is always greener. I know what the so-called best jobs are. The best job is the one you have. The best league is the one you play in.
“If you think you’re too good to be here, then maybe you shouldn’t be here. I was very happy at every single spot; I was happy with where I was and not looking to be somewhere else.”
Looking ahead to his return to A&M as the opponent, Gillispie will see plenty of familiar faces in Reed Arena tonight, including former A&M assistant Buzz Williams, now the head coach of the Aggies.
You can watch the reunion tonight at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network, if it interests you.