pcloudy.png
Saturday June 6th, 2020 10:54PM

Gillispie back in Division I close to home at Tarleton State

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Billy Gillispie said he had other opportunities to get back in NCAA Division I basketball during a successful stint as a Texas junior college coach. The West Texas native accepted one close to home, far from the overbearing pressure of trying to reach the Final Four or win a national championship.

Gillispie was introduced Tuesday as the new coach at Tarleton State, a program preparing for the transition from Division II and five years from even being eligible for the NCAA Tournament.

The move comes eight years after one ill-fated season at Texas Tech and two years after the former Kentucky coach had a kidney transplant. Gillispie had been coach the past five years at Ranger College, about 40 miles from Tarleton State.

“This is a very emotional time right now, and it's a very satisfying thing because it hasn't come easy,” Gillispie said during an online virtual news conference from the Stephenville campus, about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth. “I've had opportunities, but it wasn't the right opportunity. I've had so many people try to help me, and help me get back to this point."

Tarleton State announced Monday night that the 60-year-old Gillispie agreed to a four-year contract through the 2023-24 season, a deal pending approval by regents for the Texas A&M system. Gillispie's first major college job was at the system's flagship university, Texas A&M, from 2004-07.

Gillispie was a rising star in the coaching profession after quick rebuilding jobs at UTEP and Texas A&M, which had a 14-win improvement to 21 wins in his first season and won 27 games in 2006-07 before Kentucky hired him. He was fired after only two seasons when the Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 17 years, and he had a two-year hiatus from coaching before his troubled year at Texas Tech.

“I think because of being a victim of our success, turning around things so fast, I might have approached the last Division I jobs a little bit different because I just felt so much pressure,” he said. “I probably put too much pressure on myself, probably put too much pressure on our staff to perform and probably put too much pressure on the players because of the success that we had.”

After leaving Kentucky, he had another drunken driving arrest and spent time in a substance-abuse program. It was also during that span when his mother died and a nephew drowned.

The Red Raiders won only one Big 12 game in 2011-12 under Gillispie, who cited health concerns after being hospitalized twice in a month before resigning in September 2012. He stepped down amid allegations he mistreated players on his team, including exceeding limitations on practice time.

Before his resignation, the coach spent six days in a Lubbock hospital. A week later, Gillispie went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he said then that he was treated for kidney problems, abnormal headaches and high blood pressure.

Ranger College was 31-7 during Gillispie's debut in 2015-16, but it had to forfeit those wins because of an ineligible player. He announced his retirement midway through his second season at Ranger, saying he was taking the advice of doctors after battling high blood pressure. But he returned before the 2017-18 season, and the team reached the national junior college championship game in 2019, a year after his kidney transplant. Ranger was 28-3 this season.

Gillispie succeeds Chris Reisman, who moved into an administrative role at Tarleton State after going 39-22 the past two seasons. Reisman previously was an assistant coach for 16 years for his father, Lonn, who in 2018 retired after 30 years as head coach.

Tarleton begins the transition to Division I on July 1. The Texans will begin regular-season competition in the Western Athletic Conference next season but won't be eligible for the NCAA Tournament until the 2024-25 season.

“The only question about Tarleton basketball is going from Division II to Division I,” Gillispie said. “It's not about sustaining success, it's not about community support, it's not about a home-court advantage. ... Being able to recruit great players, they've done all that for the last 32 years. We'll be able to continue that. We just have to it at the Division I level."

___

More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Business, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gillispie back in Division I close to home at Tarleton State
Billy Gillispie is transitioning back to Division I basketball close to home
5:18PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Businesses may get COVID-19 relief loans as soon as Friday
Small businesses seeking loans through the government's $2 trillion coronavirus relief package could receive money as soon as Friday
5:06PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Europe's hospitals among the best but can't handle pandemic
Increasing numbers of European hospitals are buckling under the strain of treating tens of thousands of coronavirus patient
5:04PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Baseball Digest makes archives free until July
The magazine Baseball Digest is making its entire archive file, dating to its first issue in 1942, available for free through July 15
4:38PM ( 44 minutes ago )
NHL extends self-quarantine guideline until April 15
The NHL is extending its self-quarantine recommendation for players and staff to April 15
3:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP exclusive: MLB vets get $4,775 daily during virus outset
Gerrit Cole, Mike Trout and other veteran major leaguers will receive $4,775 per day in advance pay for the first 60 days of the season during the stoppage caused by the coronavirus, a total of $286,500
3:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: World Games to shift dates to avoid OLY overlap
The postponement of the Summer Olympics in Japan because of the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the International World Games Association to shift the dates of its signature event
1:53PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Patrick McEnroe says he has coronavirus
Former U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe says in a video posted on social media that he tested positive for the coronavirus
1:16PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Dr. Vivek Murthy to talk on Twitter to NBA fans
The former surgeon general of the United States and someone who has advised the NBA throughout the global coronavirus pandemic will take questions from NBA fans later this week
12:34PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Mother sentenced to 7 months in college admissions scam
A California woman has been sentenced to seven months in prison for paying bribes to rig her two daughters' college admissions exams and get one of them into Georgetown University as a fake tennis recruit
1:11PM ( 4 hours ago )
What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
New York's governor is pleading for medical volunteers as the death toll from COVID-19 in the state surged past 1,200
9:35PM ( 19 hours ago )
NCAA to give spring sport athletes extra year of eligibility
The NCAA will permit spring-sport Division I athletes who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus outbreak to have an additional year of eligibility
9:20PM ( 20 hours ago )
College Sports
The Latest: Turkmenistan bans use of word 'coronavirus'
An international media freedom watchdog says the autocratic ex-Soviet nation of Turkmenistan has banned the media from using the word “coronavirus.”
5:17PM ( 4 minutes ago )
US alcohol consumption surges; companies revamp operations
One way Americans are coping with the new coronavirus
4:36PM ( 45 minutes ago )
The Latest: London boy, 13, is youngest UK virus victim
A 13-year-old boy from south London with no apparent underlying health conditions has died after testing positive for the new coronavirus
4:35PM ( 46 minutes ago )
AP Business
NCAA's greatest hits: Austin Carr's record 61 points in 1970
Austin Carr played at Notre Dame in an era when prolific scorers dominated the college game
1:36PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Was There: Villanova shoots lights out to upend Hoyas
A panel of Associated Press sports writers has come up with the top 10 men's basketball games in the history of the NCAA Tournament
12:52PM ( 3 days ago )
Coaches find ways to support young athletes feeling adrift
College coaches and administrators nationwide are working daily to ensure their athletes have reliable support networks during the coronavirus pandemic
3:44PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Businesses may get COVID-19 relief loans as soon as Friday
Small businesses seeking loans through the government's $2 trillion coronavirus relief package could receive money as soon as Friday
5:06PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Europe's hospitals among the best but can't handle pandemic
Increasing numbers of European hospitals are buckling under the strain of treating tens of thousands of coronavirus patient
5:04PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Masks on the field? Ahmed ready if games can be played
Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed has seen some pictures of recent baseball games in Asia where players have worn protective masks to shield themselves from the spread of coronavirus
5:02PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: NJ Devils make donation for medical equipment
The owners of the NHL's New Jersey Devils are making a six-figure donation to the state’s largest health care system for medical equipment to ensure the safety and proper protection of all healthcare workers and first responders during the coronavirus pandemic
4:57PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Amazon fires warehouse worker who staged walkout
Amazon has fired a worker who organized a walkout at a New York warehouse to demand greater protection against the new coronavirus
4:49PM ( 32 minutes ago )