Billy Gillispie

Billy Gillispie
TitleHead coach
College| Kentucky
Basketball
Team Record0-0
BornNovember 7 1959 (1959--) (age 48)
Place of birth Abilene, Texas
Career Highlights
Overall100-58 (.633)
Championships
WAC Regular Season Championship (2004)
Awards
Big 12 Coach of the Year (2005, 2007)
School as a player
1978-1980Ranger JC
Coaching positions
1982-1985
1985-1987
1987-1988
1988-1990
1990-1993
1993-1994
1994-1997
1997-2000
2000-2002
2002-2004
2004-2007
2007-present
Texas State (asst.)
Killeen HS (asst.)
Copperas Cove HS
Canyon HS
Ellison HS
South Plains (asst.)
Baylor (asst.)
Tulsa (asst.)
Illinois (asst.)
UTEP
Texas A&M
Kentucky
Billy Clyde Gillispie (born November 7, 1959, in Abilene, Texas[]) is the men's head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky.[1] Though his last name is spelled unconventionally, it is pronounced exactly the same as the more common "Gillespie."

After leading both UTEP and Texas A&M to postseason appearances one year after poor seasons, Gillispie became the only college basketball coach to be in charge of the NCAA program with the biggest turnaround in two consecutive seasons. Gillispie is an excellent recruiter and has managed to put together four straight top-25 recruiting classes.[1] In his three seasons at A&M, the Aggies achieved three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time ever.<ref name="harris" >Harris, Terrance. "Billyball takes A&M program to new heights", The Houston Chronicle, 2007-02-13. Retrieved on 2007-02-20. 

Early years

Billy Clyde Gillispie was born November 7, 1959, the middle child and only boy among five children of Clyde, a cattle truck driver, and Winifred "Wimpy" Gillispie. He grew up in Graford, Texas, a town of 494 people located about 65 miles west of Fort Worth. As a child, Gillispie worked as a paperboy, delivering copies of The Fort Worth Press. At Graford High School Gillispie played point guard for the basketball team and was a standout athlete in his graduating class of 20 students. He attended Ranger College, playing basketball and baseball for them from 1978-1980 before transferring to Sam Houston State University to work as a student assistant for their basketball team under coach Bob Derryberry, a former classmate of Gillispie's father. Derryberry moved to Southwest Texas the following year, and Gillispie accompanied him, spending three years as a graduate assistant. Gillispie received his degree in education in 1983.<ref name="townsend" >Townsend, Brad. "A&M: Gillispie's last college station?", Dallas Morning News, 2007-02-11. Retrieved on 2007-02-20. 

Coaching career

Early positions

Gillispie spent the next few years building a coaching resume, spending two years as an assistant high school basketball coach before becoming a head coach at Copperas Cove High School in 1987. From 1987-1993, Gillispie held three high school head coaching positions. He was nominated for TABC high school coach of the year for his 1992-1993 season with Killeen Ellison High School, which set school records for winning percentage and points scored and ended the season ranked 4th in the state.[1]

After a year as an assistant coach at South Plains Junior College, in 1994, Gillispie moved to Division I college basketball as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Baylor University under head coach Harry Miller. The school's 1996 recruiting class was ranked as high as number 6 in the nation. After three years at Baylor, Gillispie moved to the University of Tulsa to be an assistant coach under Bill Self. During the 1999-2000 the school won their conference title and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, ending the season ranked Number 9 in the final coaches' poll.[1] When Self moved to University of Illinois, Gillispie followed, working as an assistant there for the next two years. During those two seasons, Illinois won back-to-back Big Ten Conference titles for the first time in 50 years, advancing to the Elite Eight in the 2001 NCAA Tournament and to the Sweet 16 in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. With Gillispie's assistance, Illinois landed a top 10 recruiting class in 2002.[1]

Through Gillispie's eight years as an assistant, he was a member of coaching staffs that won five conference championships in six years. As part of Bill Self's staff, he was a member of the only coaching staff in NCAA history to lead two different schools to the Elite Eight in successive seasons.[1]

As an assistant coach at University of Tulsa, Gillispie was arrested for a DUI. Gillispie pleaded guilty to an amended charge of reckless driving, paid a fine, and was ordered to complete 80 hours in a county work program.[2]

University of Texas at El Paso

With a glowing recommendation from Self, his former boss, Gillispie was hired as the head coach of the men's basketball team at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2002.

2002–2003

In his first season as a head coach, the UTEP Miners finished a dismal 6-24. Despite the poor showing, Gillispie put his recruiting expertise to work so that his first recruiting class ranked in the top 25 in the country and included Filiberto Rivera, the 2003 National Junior College Player of the Year, and Omar Thomas, the all-time leading scorer in junior college basketball.[1]

During his first year as coach of the Miners he was arrested for DWI, but this charge was later dropped for lack of evidence, and the arrest was expunged from the record.[3]

2003–2004

In the exhibition season to kick off the 2003-2004 season, Gillispie's Texas-El Paso Miners defeated the famous Harlem Globetrotters 89-88, after Harlem had already defeated many college teams including Syracuse, the then-defending national champion. It was the first defeat the Harlem Globetrotters had suffered in 289 games. <ref name="harlem" >The Original Harlem Globetrotters (2003-11-15). Globetrotters Drop 89-88 Decision to Texas-El Paso. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-02-20.

Although the Miners were predicted to finish ninth in the WAC the following season (2003-2004), they instead captured their first conference title in 12 years. The team finished 24-8 and received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 18-win improvement was the best in Division I basketball that season, and one of the best in Division I history. As a result of their success, the Miners built a huge home following, ranking first in the NCAA in increased attendance. After his second season with the Miners, Gillispie was named Texas coach of the Year by the TABC and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors.[1]

Texas A&M University

After two years at UTEP, Gillispie was approached to interview for the head coach position at Texas A&M University, vacant after the forced resignation of Melvin Watkins, whose team had gone 7-21 and failed to win a Big 12 Conference game in 2003-2004.[1] Athletic Director Bill Byrne needed to revitalize the program, which had only one winning season in the previous eleven years,[1] and desired a new head coach with the ability to "recruit the heck out of Texas".[3] Gillispie agreed to take the job only after he was sure that the predominantly football-focused school was actually committed to winning,[3] becoming the first native Texan to be the head basketball coach at A&M since J.B. Reid was hired in 1930.[0]

2004–2005

Gillispie asked for a budget large enough to allow them to play confidence-building non-conference schedules, rarely venturing out of Reed Arena in the first two seasons. With his encouragement, A&M is also expected to build a new state-of-the-art basketball practice facility.[3] With the help of the new non-conference schedule, in Gillispie's first season, the Aggies won their first eleven games before finishing the season 21-10, a fourteen-game improvement over the previous season. Although the Aggies were picked to finish last in the Big 12 Conference, they finished 8-8 in conference play, winning games against number 9 Texas and Number 25 Texas Tech University on their way to becoming only the third college team to ever finish .500 in league play after being winless the previous season. For the first time in eleven years, the team received a postseason bid, with their two wins in the NIT their first postseason wins in 23 seasons.[1] With the best first-season record of any head basketball coach in A&M history, the Aggies had the most season wins since the 1979-1980 team had won 26 games.[3] The Aggies were named the country's most improved team, making Gillispie the only coach in history to lead the most improved team in consecutive seasons. As a result of his success, he was the consensus selection for Big 12 Coach of the Year and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors,<ref name="aggie" >Billy Gillispie. Texas A&M University Athletic Department. Retrieved on 2007-02-20. and was selected to serve as a court coach at the 2005 USA Men's World University Games Team Trials.<ref name="williams" >Williams, Connie (2005-05-19). BASKETBALL: Billy Gillispie, Karl Hobbs Called Upon To Assist At 2005 USA Men's World University Games Team Trials. USA Basketball. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.

2005–2006

Although the Aggies lost first-round draft pick Antoine Wright following the 2004-2005 season, the team did not suffer the predicted drop-off,[1] actually ending a streak of twenty-five years without being ranked in the poll.[1] The Aggies finished the regular season with a 21-8 record, including a 10-6 conference record and a fourth-place finish in the Big 12, the best finish and most wins for Texas A&M since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996-97. For the first time since 1987, Texas A&M received a bid to the NCAA Tournament.<ref name="ncaa1" >Aggies Earn Bid to NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M University Athletic Department (March 12, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-02-20. As a twelfth-seeded team, the Aggies upset Big East champion Syracuse in the first round of the tournament<ref name="ncaa2" >Texas A&M 66, Syracuse 58. Texas A&M University Athletic Department (March 16, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-02-20. but then lost in the second round to eventual Final Four participant LSU by the score of 58-57 on a three-pointer that LSU made in the final seconds of the game.<ref name="ncaa3" >Aggies Fall Just Short in NCAA Second Round. Texas A&M University Athletic Department (March 18, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-02-20. Following the season, Gillispie was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year by several major newspapers and was named the Texas College Coach of the Year by the TABC.[1]

2006–2007

The Aggies began the 2006-2007 season deemed capable of contending with the Kansas Jayhawks for the Big 12 regular-season crown and were picked to finish second in the Big 12 media and coaches' polls. In their twelfth attempt, on February 3, 2007, Texas A&M became the first Big 12 South team in conference history (31 attempts) to beat Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, moving them into sole possession of first place in the Big 12. Less than forty-eight hours later the Aggies defeated their archrivals, then number-25 ranked Texas, marking their 21st straight win at home.

The 2006-07 Aggies ended the regular season ranked #7 by the Associated Press and #6 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Aggies have set a school record for most consecutive weeks in the top 25, reaching a school high Number 6 ranking.<ref name="denton" >Cohen, Rachel. "Basketball Rebounds at Texas A&M", Denton (Texas) Record Chronicle, 2007-02-20. Retrieved on 2007-02-20.  On March 4, 2007, Gillispie was awarded his second Big 12 Coach of the Year award for leading the Aggies to a 13-3 conference record and a second place finish behind the Kansas Jayhawks.[1] The 2006-07 post-season, the Aggies advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tourney. Their post-season hopes ended with a one point loss (65-64) to the University of Memphis Tigers at the Alamodome in San Antonio on March 22, 2007.[4]

On March 30, 2007, the Texas A&M Athletic Department announced that the A&M Board of Regents had approved a new contract and received verbal agreement from Gillispie to sign, ending speculation of a move to the University of Arkansas. The contract included an annual income of $1.75 million, running through March 2015, and included bonuses of $1 million and $750,000 in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

After the NCAA tournament, rumors rose that the University of Arkansas and the University of Kentucky became interested in hiring Gillispie after the schools lost their head basketball coaches.[5]

Coincidentally, Texas A&M defeated University of Louisville (coached by Rick Pitino, former UK coach) at Rupp Arena, UK's home court, during the second round of the 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, before the UK position was vacant.[6]

University of Kentucky

On April 5 2007, University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart was given permission by A&M to speak with Gillispie about the program's basketball coach opening, vacated by Tubby Smith. On April 6, 2007, the announcement was made that Gillispie had accepted the position.[7]

At 12:45 p.m on April 6, 2007, Billy Gillispie was officially and formally announced as the new head coach of the University of Kentucky by UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart. He fielded questions from the media during the press conference held at UK's new practice facility, the Joe Craft Center. He expressed his excitement and joy to be not only considered for the position but to have been given the honor and the opportunity to coach what former UK coach Rick Pitino referred to as the "Roman Empire" of college basketball. "I'm very, very grateful and honored to be here, but we have a lot of work to do."[8] Gillispie becomes only the sixth head coach in the last 76 years at the school.[9]

On May 16, 2007, Gillispie got his first major player commitment as the head coach at Kentucky when top-15 power forward and McDonald's All-American Patrick Patterson officially committed to play basketball at the University of Kentucky. Patterson chose Kentucky over the University of Florida and Duke University. He has shown his recruiting ability while at UK, securing 7 commitments since April 10th.

Contract

Under the proposed deal, Gillispie will make $2.3 million in the first year of a seven-year contract, with the amount going up by $75,000 yearly after that, plus incentives, including $50,000 for an NCAA tournament appearance. The contract calls for a $400,000 base salary and $1.9 million for endorsements and for TV and radio appearances. The contract calls for a retention bonus of $1 million, plus interest, after four years and an additional $250,000 annually in the final three years of the contract. It also calls for as much as $750,000 annually in performance incentives, and as much as $100,000 in academic incentives. If UK buys out Gillispie at any time, it will have to pay him $1.5 million for each year remaining on the contract, capped at $6 million. If Gillispie wants to leave UK, he would have to pay the university an amount determined by which year in the contract he’s in. For example, if he leaves in the first year, he would pay $3 million. That would gradually decrease to $1 million in the fourth year of the contract. The buyout clause ends after the fourth year, meaning he would be free to leave UK in years five through seven.[10]

Work habits

Gillispie is a self-professed workaholic. Despite the fact that he has three assistants who watch opponents' game film and summarize it for him, he watches as many as fifteen of an opponent's games, often working as late as 2 or 3 a.m. to ensure he has adequate time to devote to the task. He has stated that his eight-year marriage ended because he could not find a balance between work and home. With the sheer amount of hours he spends working, Gillispie often does not have time to even shop for groceries, once going as long as six months without any food in his refrigerator. For this reason his breakfast often consists of peanut butter crackers and Dr Pepper purchased at a local convenience store.[0]

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall
UTEP (Western Athletic Conference) (2002 — 2004)
2002–2003UTEP6-243-1510th
2003–2004UTEP24-813-5T-1stNCAA 1st Round
UTEP:30-3216-20
Texas A&M (Big 12 Conference) (2004 — 2007)
2004–2005Texas A&M21-108-87thNIT Quarterfinals
2005–2006Texas A&M22-910-64thNCAA 2nd Round
2006–2007Texas A&M27-713-32ndNCAA Sweet 16
Texas A&M:70-2631-17
Kentucky (Southeastern Conference) (2007 —)
2007–2008Kentucky0-00-0
Kentucky:0-00-0
Total:100-58
      National Championship        Conference Tournament Championship

References

1. ^ Gillispie Named UK Men's Basketball Coach. University of Kentucky (2007-04-06). Retrieved on 2007-04-06.
2. ^ Dawson, Brett and Andrew Wolfson. "Gillispie has history of drunk-driving arrests", The Courier-Journal, 2007-04-06. Retrieved on 2007-04-07. 
3. ^ The Associated Press. "Gillispie thanks UTEP, fans for standing by him", ESPN.com, 2003-06-26. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.ESPN.com&rft.date=2003-06-26"> 
4. ^ Morrill, Julia. "Tigers prove skeptics wrong with gutsy performance", Sports Illustrated, 2007-03-23. 
5. ^ Harris, Terrance. "Basketball excellence may net A&M's Gillispie more rewards", Houston Chronicle, 2007-03-26. Retrieved on 2007-03-26. 
6. ^ 2007 Men's Basketball Championship Brackets. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.
7. ^ Brett Dawson. Gillispie wants to 'cut down some more nets' at UK". (6 April 2007). The Courier-Journal (Louisville). Retrieved on April 6, 2007.
8. ^ The Associated Press. "Gillispie "Honored" To Be New UK Coach", WLEX-TV, 2007-04-06. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.WLEX-TV&rft.date=2007-04-06"> 
9. ^ McMurray, Jeffrey. "UK Names Billy Gillispie New Head Basketball Coach", WKYT-TV, 2007-04-06. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.WKYT-TV&rft.date=2007-04-06"> 
10. ^ Sloan, Scott. "Details of Gillispie’s contract released; some incentives questioned", Lexington Herald-Leader, 2007-04-06. Retrieved on 2007-04-06. 

External links



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