Texas Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt (pictured, above) addressed the media Saturday afternoon in the wake of the departure of Tommy Tuberville to the University of Cincinnati. Hocutt outlined the timeline of the departure of Tuberville from the Tech football program. "It started for me at 9:15 this morning.  I was at my son's soccer game.  And I got a phone call from a Ohio number that I did not recognize and subsequently listened to the message and it was the athletics director at Cincinnati saying that he intended to visit today with Tommy Tuberville about their head coaching position.

Rob Brennan, 1340TheFan.com
Rob Brennan, 1340TheFan.com

Hocutt continued, "I did not return the phone call.  And then at 10:30 this morning received a call from Coach Tuberville (pictured, right), had the chance to visit with him, and he notified me at that time of his resignation and his intention to accept the job at Cincinnati."

In the video below, Hocutt answers a question from The Fan's Don Williams, concerning the notification of Tuberville's departure:

Hocutt then made his pitch to all potential head coaching candidates concerning the quality of the Red Raider team, facilities, Jones AT&T Stadium and Texas Tech fanbase.

"I want to be very clear, very clear, that we have a great football program.  This is a great university and a football program that is steeped in tradition.  We have 35 Bowl game appearances.  This year will be our 35th as we go to Houston and participate in the Mineke Car Care Bowl.  We've participated in postseason Bowl games, 11 of the 12 past college seasons.  It's a football program that has 11 conference championships and a football program that has had 48 All‑Americans.  This is a program that has tremendous athletic facilities.  Texas Tech University has invested over $230 million into our athletic facilities over the past decade.

Hocutt continued, "Our resources at Texas Tech are great.  We have a passionate fan base, a fan base who set tremendous records this year.  We set a school record for our highest average attendance in Texas Tech football history.  We have a great city to live in.  Lubbock, Texas is a great place to live.  You will find some of the greatest people in the world right here in West Texas in Lubbock."

In the next video, Hocutt answers a question from The Fan's Scott Fitzgerald. Specifically concerning Tuberville leaving for a 'lesser program':

The assistant coaches, minus offensive coordinator Neal Brown, have committed to coaching Texas Tech at the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston. An interim head coach will be named in the coming days for Texas Tech's bowl game. Meanwhile, Brown is currently interviewing at other schools for a new coaching position.

Some of those assistants may be already packing their bags. Just an hour after Hocutt's press conference, Tuberville announced that some of his now-former assistants will be joining him at Cincinnati after Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Hocutt was very definitive in the qualities he wants to see in the next head coach for Texas Tech Football, "In every sense of the word we want to find a leader, winner, want to find someone who knows the fabric of west Texas, someone who is committed and wants to be a part of our great community. 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"

After today's press conference with Hocutt, Texas Tech University President Dr. Lawrence Schovanec issued the following statement, "I would like to thank Tommy Tuberville for his service and representation of Texas Tech University. We are prepared to move forward, and Kirby Hocutt has my complete support as he begins the search for a head coach. We have great leadership in athletics and on this team."

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