Big 12 Basketball

Mark Adams Steps Down as Texas Tech Basketball Coach

Mark Adams

Mark Adams stepped down as the men’s basketball coach at Texas Tech, shortly after the Red Raiders were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.

This came after Adams was suspended on Sunday for what Texas Tech called an “inappropriate, unacceptable, racially insensitive’ comment to a player prior to Saturday’s game with Oklahoma State in Lubbock.


Per the release, Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt determined that the racially insensitive comment was unintentional and an isolated incident. Following the comment, Adams immediately apologized to the team.

“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. “However, both the University and I believe this incident has become a distraction for the Texas Tech men’s basketball team and the University, which I care about so deeply.”

It seemed as if the writing was on the wall after the suspension. Shortly after the release of the suspension, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman spoke both to a Texas Tech athletic source and to Adams. The Tech source told Goodman that he would be “shocked” if Adams kept his job.


“I’d be shocked if Mark Adams coaches another game in Lubbock,” the source told Goodman. “Most of the players don’t want to play for him.”

The source also told Goodman that there were allegations that Adams spit on one of his players earlier in the season. Adams said he had no recollection of the incident.

Adams took over the Red Raiders two springs ago after Chris Beard left the program to take over at Texas. Beard lost that job earlier this season after allegations of domestic violence were levied against him in January. Charges were eventually dropped, but Texas fired him and installed Rodney Terry as the interim head coach.

For Adams, taking over at Texas Tech was a dream job. He was a Texas Tech graduate who spent most of his coaching career in west Texas, including a decade-long stint at Howard College where he led that school to an NJCAA national championship.

He returned to Lubbock and worked briefly for then-coach Tubby Smith before he followed Beard to Little Rock for one season and then returned to Tech as Beard’s top assistant and defensive coordinator.


Adams took over for Beard and in his first season led the Red Raiders to the Big 12 Tournament final and a trip to the Sweet 16. That team went 27-10.

This season has been more tumultuous, with the Red Raiders falling below expectations and losing forward Fardaws Aimaq for much of the season due to injury. The Red Raiders went to the Big 12 Tournament without Adams with a 16-15 record and a 5-13 record in Big 12 action.

Corey Williams was the interim coach for Wednesday’s game, a 76-62 loss.

Adams’ record at Texas Tech in two seasons was 43-25.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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