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September 20, 2012Billy Gillispie has resigned as head coach of the Texas Tech men's basketball program.
"Billy has decided to focus on his health and we wish him a full recovery," athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a released statement. "We are proud of the young men that he has brought to this campus. Billy's decision allows him to concentrate on his well-being and allows us to turn our attention to preparations for the upcoming season."
The decision comes less than a week after the embattled head coach returned to Lubbock after a short stay at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Gillispie spent less than 72 hours at the facility and was reportedly being treated for high blood pressure and stress.
Multiple university sources told RedRaiderSports.com Friday that Gillispie caught Tech officials off guard by returning to Lubbock Friday evening, less than five hours after telling athletic director Kirby Hocutt that he was still undergoing tests at the Mayo Clinic.
Gillispie's reported health issues began on Aug. 31, the same day that allegations of NCAA rules violations and player mistreatement surfaced in media reports. The 52-year-old coach was scheduled to meet with Hocutt that morning regarding the allegations, but instead checked into a Lubbock's University Medical Center and spent the next six days being treated for stress and high blood pressure.
According to multiple sources, Gillispie did not notify Tech after he left UMC on Sept. 6 and ignored multiple calls from university officials after it was discovered that he was no longer in the hospital.
Tech officials confirmed last week that Gillispie was taking sick days that he had accrued since being hired by the university in 2011.
Hocutt released a statement last Tuesday and expressed his desire for a "swift resolution" to the issue.
"We hope Billy Gillispie has a full recovery, but we cannot wait forever as we have a basketball team that starts practice soon," Hocutt said in the statement. "In the meantime, Associate Head Coach Chris Walker will assume the responsibility for day-to-day operations of our men's basketball program. Coach Walker will ensure that leadership and accountability will be in place for our student athletes and staff.
"We have been seeking a swift resolution to this issue from the very beginning. We remain committed to communicating with Billy face-to-face regarding the issues related to the men's basketball program; however, time is of the essence."
Gillispie went 8-23 (1-17) in his first and only season as the Red Raiders' head coach. He will be paid through April 30, 2013.
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