Texas Tech promotes Mark Adams to replace Chris Beard as men's basketball coach
LUBBOCK — Mark Adams is staying home.
The former lead assistant and associate head coach will be sitting at the front of the bench after he was named the Texas Tech men's basketball coach Monday night.
Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt, who informed the Red Raiders basketball team through Zoom, confirmed the news to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Adams was promoted four days after Chris Beard resigned to become coach at Texas.
In the days since, prominent players from the 2019 Texas Tech team that reached the championship game of the NCAA Tournament had come out in favor of promoting Adams, the defensive architect of Beard's teams.
Texas Tech guard Kevin McCullar, who indicated after Beard's resignation that he had a decision to make about his future, seemed to be happy about Adams' promotion.
"I'm not going anywhere," McCullar posted on Twitter.
By moving quickly, Tech gives Adams a chance to keep a core of the players who helped the Red Raiders advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament this season.
'Couldn't be happier for Mark Adams'
Kyler Edwards and Marcus Santos-Silva had their names entered into the NCAA transfer portal. But after the Red Raiders were told Adams is going to be their coach, Edwards posted a tweet that seems to indicate he will stay at Tech. A Tech spokesperson could not immediately confirm Edwards' plans.
Mac McClung and Terrence Shannon Jr. — who's expected to test the NBA draft waters — also could return.
Former players including Norense Odiase, Tariq Owens, Justin Gray and Matt Mooney praised the decision to promote Adams.
"He was someone I could always go talk to through the year," Mooney told the Avalanche Journal in a direct message on Twitter. "He helped me improve so much as a defender."
Adams, who could not be reached immediately for comment, is likely living a dream scenario. He grew up in Brownfield and has been head coach in the past at Clarendon College, Wayland Baptist, West Texas A&M and Howard College. He led Wayland to the championship game of the 1985 NAIA Tournament and led Howard to the 2010 NJCAA title.
The 1979 Tech graduate is 544-244 in 23 years as a college head coach, which also includes a stop at UT-Pan American, now known as UT-Rio Grande Valley.
"Couldn’t be happier for Mark Adams!" Gray told the Avalanche Journal in a direct message on Twitter. "So deserving of this opportunity. He has always been committed to Texas Tech through and through! I’ve learned so much from him as a player and have grown into a great defensive player because of him.
"Besides coaching he is just a great human being, constantly checks up on me and my family even till this day so that relationship will always be there with coach and I. He is the perfect guy for this job and can’t wait to see him succeed and push the program to new heights! Amazing hire by Kirby Hocutt."
Adams was the first person Beard called when Beard took his first Division I head coaching job at Arkansas-Little Rock in 2015. That was after a two-year stint at Division II Angelo State.
Adams, the mastermind of a Texas Tech defensive philosophy that tries to deny opponents the middle, has seen the approach on other teams such as Baylor.
"When that Little Rock job came open he did call and offer me a job," Adams said before the Red Raiders prepared for an NCAA Tournament game two years ago against Michigan. "He had interviewed for a couple of other jobs and we talked about me going with him at that time. We have been planning this since his days as an assistant coach at Texas Tech."
That pairing is now done. They will oppose each other as Big 12 coaches, a development that adds another layer to the Texas Tech-Texas rivalry.
Follow Carlos Silva Jr. on Twitter @cmsilvajr