Texas Tech coach Mark Adams resigns just three days after being suspended for reciting Bible verses to a player who referred to ‘SLAVES serving their masters’
Texas Tech coach Mark Adams, who had recently been suspended for racially insensitive comments toward one of his players, resigned shortly after the Red Raiders were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday.
Sophomore assistant Corey Williams had led the Red Raiders in their 78-62 loss to West Virginia.
The incident involving the 66-year-old Adams occurred in a meeting with a player, who was not identified, Texas Tech said Sunday in announcing his suspension.
The school said Adams “was encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to training and brought up Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters.”
Red Raiders athletic director Kirby Hocutt learned of the incident last Friday and issued a written reprimand, and Adams coached them in a regular-season finale loss to Oklahoma State.
Texas Tech has parted ways with head coach Mark Adams after a controversial week
Red Raiders assistant Corey Williams took over the team for the Big 12 tournament this week
But after Hocutt investigated the situation further, he decided to suspend Adams just three days before the start of the Big 12 Tournament. Adams waited until his team was eliminated before announcing that he was stepping down.
“My lifelong goal was to help and be a positive influence on my players, and to be a part of the Texas Tech men’s basketball team,” Adams said in a statement.
“However, both the university and I believe that this incident has become a distraction to the Texas Tech men’s basketball team and the university, which I care so much about.”
This isn’t the first time high-profile coaches have been in trouble over insensitive comments.
Three years ago, Pat Chambers resigned from Penn State after one of its former players revealed that the coach said he wanted to “loosen the noose around his neck” when talking to the player about helping him reduce stress; he was signed at Florida Gulf Coast this season.
And during the 2020-21 season, Creighton coach Greg McDermott apologized for telling his team after a loss to “stay on the plantation” as a way of reminding them to stick together; he was suspended for one game.
Adams, 66, graduated from Texas Tech in 1979 and has been on the staff there since 2016, starting out as director of basketball operations with Tubby Smith and later spending time on Chris Beard’s staff.
He was promoted to head coach when Beard left for the Texas Longhorns, signing a five-year, $15.5 million contract extension last spring.
Adams was in his second year as head coach of the Red Raiders, following the departure of Chris Beard.
Texas Tech fell to West Virginia, 62-78, in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday.
The extension came after Adams led the Red Raiders to the Big 12 Tournament final, where they lost to eventual national champion Kansas, and to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in his first season in charge.
However, things quickly turned sour this season. Texas Tech lost its first eight conference games, and any hope of clinching the Big 12 Tournament title and returning to the NCAA tournament ended with a dismal effort against the Mountaineers.
‘If I’m honest, it’s a lot of weight for these kids right now. They’ve been through a lot in the last week or so,” Williams said afterwards. “And in a way, I feel like it got them and they wanted to win.
‘They gave their best. And once the ball stopped dropping a bit, it got a bit more difficult,” he added. “The hill got a lot steeper and unfortunately we couldn’t make up the difference.”