- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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I was not surprised by Billy Gillispie's decision to resign as head coach at Texas Tech.
It was a little more than a week ago that I suggested that would be the best move for him. His health should be the No. 1 priority in his life, and dealing with the responsibilities of coaching a major program, coupled with the controversy over issues related to the handling of his players, had to affect his blood pressure.
Let's face reality, there is the pressure to build a winning program that surrounds every Division I basketball coach.
Gillispie's resignation at this point was best for him and the Red Raiders, even at this late date. Chris Walker has been serving as a temporary replacement and it is possible he will get a shot as the interim head coach. If he doesn't, Texas Tech could go with a veteran looking for work and there are a number of experienced former head coaches looking for an opportunity to return to the sidelines.
My friends, it has been a busy offseason in terms of coaching changes. In the last week, there have been two major ones with the Gillispie announcement and Jim Calhoun's retirement at Connecticut. The transition to Kevin Ollie as head coach of the Huskies will be interesting to watch.
Think about some of the new faces in different places on the sidelines for 2012-13. John Groce takes over at Illinois after his solid run at Ohio University. He inherited the job when Bruce Weber was let go. Weber did not stay out of work for long, taking the position at Kansas State when Frank Martin went to South Carolina. Trent Johnson left LSU for TCU, which allowed former Tiger Johnny Jones to return to his alma mater as head coach.
Two names associated with the 1988 NCAA championship will be on the sidelines this season. Larry Brown is back, taking over at SMU. His proud pupil Danny Manning is the new head coach at Tulsa. Manning took over for Doug Wojcik, who landed at College of Charleston. James Johnson moved up to become head coach at Virginia Tech as Seth Greenberg is now my teammate here at ESPN.
Tim Miles took over at Nebraska. Rick Ray replaced Rick Stansbury, who retired at Mississippi State.
Wow ... I cannot wait to see how all of these new coaches do at their respective schools. The season is right around the corner, baby!
18hEthan Sherwood Strauss