Texas Tech close to hiring Gillispie

Billy Clyde Gillispie is on the verge of returning to the coaching ranks.

After two years of trying to repair his image and his life, Gillispie — according to multiple sources — is close to being been hired by Texas Tech to replace Pat Knight.

Barring a last-minute change of heart, Gillispie is expected to accept the job. However, Gillispie also verbally accepted the Arkansas job a few years back — according to sources — before reneging to take the position at Kentucky.

Gillispie met with new Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt, formerly of Miami, earlier this week in Florida. Hocutt’s first official day at Texas Tech is Monday, so an official announcement isn’t expected before then.

Gillispie spent two seasons at Kentucky and went 40-27 before being replaced by John Calipari.

His treatment of players and also his drunken-driving arrests have made it difficult for athletic directors to bring him back, but Gillispie could be the perfect hire in Lubbuck due to his Texas ties.

Gillispie had success in the state of Texas as the head coach at Texas A&M and UTEP. He led the Aggies to a 70-26 mark and a pair of NCAA tournament appearances in three seasons at the helm and also turned around UTEP. taking the Miners to the Big Dance in 2004.

He’ll inherit a Texas Tech team that went 13-18 this season under Knight, the son of legendary coach Bob Knight.