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Gillispie hired by Texas Tech

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech hired Billy Gillispie as coach two seasons after he was fired at Kentucky.

Gillispie, 51, 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, according to a statement released by the school.

"I can't wait to get started," Gillispie said in the statement. "Texas Tech is a great school that is located in a great community and is part of one of the toughest conferences in the country."

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who interviewed Gillispie in Florida on Wednesday, told the Associated Press on Sunday that he and Gillispie talked at length the past two weeks. They discussed Gillispie's arrest on drunken driving charges a few months after Kentucky fired him.

He said Gillispie is remorseful for his mistakes.

FANS BACK PEARL: Nearly 100 Tennessee fans gathered at a rally near the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville to show their support for Bruce Pearl, who is waiting to learn his fate as coach. Athletics director Mike Hamilton said Wednesday that Pearl would be evaluated after the season. Tennessee lost 75-45 to Michigan in the NCAA Tournament Friday.

NIT: Joe Ragland's layup with 2.6 seconds left in overtime lifted visiting Wichita State (26-8) to a 79-76 victory over Virginia Tech (22-12) in the second round. … Randal Holt had 22 points and Carlton Guyton added 16 to lead visiting Kent State (25-11) over Fairfield (25-8) 72-68.

Gillispie hired by Texas Tech 03/20/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2011 10:03pm]
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