Mark Adams of Texas Tech is stepping down as men’s basketball coach

Jeff BorzelloESPN staff writer2 minutes to read

On Wednesday night, the school announced that Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams had resigned from his position, days after he was suspended for using what the school called “inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive commentary.”

Adams did not coach the Red Raiders in their Big 12 Championship loss to West Virginia on Wednesday, with assistant coach Corey Williams taking over as interim head coach.

“It has been my lifelong goal to help and positively influence players, and to be a part of the Texas Tech men’s basketball team,” Adams said in a prepared statement. “However, both the university and the university believe that this incident became a distraction to the Texas Tech men’s basketball team and the university, which I care deeply about.”

According to the school, Adams was encouraging the player to be more receptive to training and “pointed to Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters.” The school said Adams apologized to the team immediately after the comment.

Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt was informed of the incident. He issued a written reprimand to Adams, but then made the decision to suspend the coach to conduct a “more thorough investigation of Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.”

Hocut decided Adams’ suspension was unintentional and an isolated incident after his investigation.

A Texas Tech conference tournament loss dropped the Red Raiders to 16-16 on the season, 5-13 in conference play.

Sources told ESPN that North Texas’ Grant McCasland and Oral Roberts’ Paul Mills, both former assistants to Scott Drew, are expected to be front-runners to replace Adams.

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Sources told ESPN that Adams was already under pressure from influential people around the program because of the disappointing season at Texas Tech. He signed a contract extension last spring that was set to run through the 2026-27 season and paid him $15.5 million over five years.

Adams, 66, graduated from Texas Tech University in 1979 and has been a coach with the Red Raiders since 2016, first as an assistant under Chris Bird and in the past two seasons as a Beard replacement. He also spent two seasons as program director of basketball operations under Tubby Smith from 2013 to 2015.

Adams was a longtime varsity coach at Texas before joining Texas Tech, stopping at five schools over the course of 30 years.

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