New basketball facility press conference

Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt talks with people at Tech Athletic’s news conference announcing the new practice facility. The project is part of the Campaign for Fearless Champions.

Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt agreed to a new contract offered by Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, which included a two-year extension and an adjustment in compensation, according to a Tech Athletics news release. 

Hocutt is in his eighth year with Tech Athletics and is the 13th athletic director in school history, according to the release. The Red Raider sports programs has grown, showing success under Hocutt’s time in charge and making Tech a national powerhouse in multiple sports. 

With his new contract, Hocutt will earn $1.5 million annually and will receive a three percent increase each year, according to the release. His contract will begin Sept. 1 with the extension through Aug. 21, 2027. 

“I am sincerely appreciative of the continued trust and support from President Schovanec, Chancellor Mitchell and the Board of Regents,” Hocutt said, according to the release. “Texas Tech University and Lubbock have become home for my family and there is not a greater place. I look forward to continuing our work to elevate Texas Tech Athletics to the top echelon of college athletics.” 

Tech has earned a total of 13 Big 12 titles under Hocutt, according to the release. He was also in charge as Tech had one of the best athletic seasons in school history in 2017-18. In the season, six programs finished in the top eight in the country. The teams included baseball, men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s tennis and men’s track and field (indoor and outdoor). 

“As a result of Kirby’s leadership and vision, our athletic programs have enjoyed unprecedented success,” Schovanec said, according to the release. “He has assembled an administrative staff and group of coaches who reflect his priorities to develop our student-athletes, academically and athletically, while competing at the highest level.” 

Two high-profile programs emerged in the national spotlight under Hocutt’s guidance, including the men’s basketball and baseball team, according to the release. The basketball team just had a historic season, finishing the national runner-up and earning the programs first Big 12 Conference championship under head coach Chris Beard.

Under head coach Tim Tadlock, the baseball team has made an appearance in the College World Series three times in the past five years as well as winning Big 12 titles twice. 

Other teams have thrived under Hocutt’s guidance, such as the softball team having one of its best seasons in school history, according to the release. After Hocutt’s hiring of Marlene Stollings, the women’s basketball program made one of the biggest single-season turnarounds in the nation.

Both the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field team are still competing for Big 12 and national titles. 

Hocutt has also been part of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for three years during his time at Tech, according to the release. The organization determines the teams that will compete in the College Football Playoffs. In two of the three years with the organization, Hocutt served as chairman of the committee. 

“His success in fundraising has resulted in impressive improvements in facilities and resources,” Schovanec said in the release. “He is one of the most respected athletics directors in the nation, and we are fortunate that he will continue to lead our programs at Texas Tech.” 

Under Hocutt’s reign, the Campaign for Fearless Champions was started to improve athletic facilities, invest in scholarship endowments and plan for the future for Tech Athletics, according to the release. The campaign also helps the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy, which helps student-athletes prepare for life after graduation. 

The Campaign for Fearless Champions also helped with the $48 million Sports Performance Center, which created an indoor practice facility for the Tech football team as well as providing an indoor track and field facility, according to the release. The 2019 Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships was hosted at the SPC in February. The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Center was also started with the help of the campaign. 

Hocutt has also been in charge as the Jones AT&T Stadium has received many improvements, according to the release. The stadium added a new FieldTurf playing surface, a new high-definition video board was installed and the premium seating was upgraded. 

In March 2018, Hocutt was honored with the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to recognize his success.

(1) comment

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