Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt spoke with the media following Tommy Tuberville's resignation on Saturday. Here's what he said regarding the search for a new head coach.
Kirby Hocutt: Fit is very important to me, and I think finding the right fit for Texas Tech is critical at this point in time.
We want a winner, leader, who is going to position us to compete at the highest levels competitively. Our goal is very simple. Our goal is to be the best college football program in the country to compete for Big 12 championships and to compete for national championships. We've been at the top of the college football world before and we're going to get back to the top.
It's important for us to find a winner and leader who is going to motivate and encourage our student athletes to achieve the highest level possible in the classroom and ensure when our young people leave Texas Tech that they leave with a degree in their hand.
It's important that our next head football coach embraces the Texas Tech values that are so important to each and every one of us. And I want to assure our fans that there's no shortage of candidates. There's no shortage of candidates.
There are lots of college football coaches around this country that want to be at Texas Tech today leading this football program. Before I open it up for questions, I want to ask our fan base, I want to ask the Texas Tech Red Raider nation across the country to come together like they never have before and to show their Red Raider pride, their pride in the double T, I want to urge and encourage our fans to sell out Reliant Stadium. December 28th we have a very important bowl game, on national television, prime time, it's the only college football game on at that time. And I want to urge our fans to create a home field advantage and a home field atmosphere for this football team to be the best that this group of young men have ever experienced. I urge our fans if they have not bought their tickets for our December 28th game against Minnesota, that they do that this up coming week and let's celebrate and let's show this country what it means to be a Red Raider and the pride we have in our great university and stand behind this football team like we never have before.
Q. You were looking for somebody who knows the fabric of west Texas, could you be more specific about that, what you're looking for there?
KIRBY HOCUTT: Well, I think it's important to find somebody who embraces the west Texas community, the West Texas lifestyle. This is a great place to live. It's a great place to raise a family. It's a great place to build a football program. And we want somebody who is familiar with the state of Texas. We want somebody who is familiar with the values that we hold dearly in West Texas in Lubbock and I'm confident that we'll be able to find that person.
Q. In terms of opening up for a search, guys who have been coordinators, have had coaching experience, how does that play into, which are you looking for?
KIRBY HOCUTT: We're going to find the best candidate for Texas Tech. If that individual is a head coach, great. If that individual is a coordinator, somewhere in this country, great. But we're going to find the best head coach for our program moving forward and find the best fit for Texas Tech moving forward.
Q. Your search committee, do you make the hire or do you know?
KIRBY HOCUTT: I'm going to make the hire. And I'm going to make a recommendation ultimately to President Schovanec who is here I appreciate Dr. Schovanec being here. So the process, the Texas Tech policy is that the athletics director makes a recommendation to the president. So I will conduct the search and ultimately make my recommendation to Dr. Schovanec as to who I recommend to be the next head football coach at Texas Tech.
Q. Have you discussed a timeline you would like to have this search made?
KIRBY HOCUTT: I'm not going to put a timeline upon ourselves. We will move as expeditiously as we possibly can, but at the same time we're going to take as much time as we need to find the right individual for this program.
Q. You mentioned fit several times there. Is it with a fit or is it better to go with someone that's familiar with the surroundings here?
KIRBY HOCUTT: That should be taken into consideration. But at the same time I think somebody who is familiar with the state of Texas that embraces the values that we hold dear in West Texas and somebody who wants to be at Texas Tech and believes that we can compete for championships, because we can win at the highest levels in this program, and we're going to show that.
Q. What's been done on a recruiting front today with coaches and reaching out to the players like that?
KIRBY HOCUTT: We have 25 scholarships. We have I believe 17 verbal commitments at this time. I've asked our assistant coaches to remain in communication with those commitments as well as those individuals that they're recruiting. They're recruiting them to come to Texas Tech University they're recruiting them to be a Red Raider. We continue to stay in communication with them and make sure that those young men that have committed here, we're going to honor our commitment to them.