Billy Gillispie loves to rebuild programs... and luckily for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, he's good at it.
In 2002 BCG took over a UTEP team and struggled through a 6-24 season before bringing in a headlining recruiting class and winning the WAC while going 24-8 the following season. BCG parlayed that success and wound up turning around a Texas A&M Aggies squad that went 7-21 the year before Gillispie arrived to a remarkable 21-10 season. This marked the first time in NCAA history that a coach led two different programs to the biggest win-loss turnaround in back-to-back seasons.
Gillispie also coached the Kentucky Wildcats for two disastrous seasons, before being fired, out of basketball for two years then hired on at Tech.
The Tech hire, though, makes perfect sense. Gillispie is a Texan, who has coached at UTEP and A&M and served as an assistant at Baylor. He was also an assistant under Bill Self at Tulsa, so the recruiting maverick knows the region like the back of his hand and has connections throughout Big 12 county.
Because of some highly publicized personal issues, Gillispie may have lost a little luster, but Tech is looking to rebuild a program that is in a downward spiral. The perfect fit? A guy who is adept at rebuilding programs.
It is still unclear whether Tech can grab recruits looking at other Texas or Big 12 schools who opt to play in Lubbock, but that's what we all said about Baylor a few seasons ago. And while BCG may have invented the model, he will be following what Scott Drew is doing in Waco by trying to bring top notch talent to a part of Texas not known for its hoops.
Can Gillispie make it work? Possibly.
Does he have the track record to get Tech fans excited? Certainly.