LUBBOCK, Texas — If Tuesday’s introductory press conference is any indication, Texas Tech fans are going to love Mark Adams.
Adams is West Texas through and through. He was born in Brownfield, went to Texas Tech, had two kids that attended the school as well and coached in the region for years, even before he landed at Tech.
Just about everything he said at his first press conference as the Texas Tech men’s basketball head coach, aside from a thank you to Chris Beard, drew resounding cheers from the fans that filed into United Supermarkets Arena Tuesday evening.
Adams made his love for both the region and the school clear throughout the event, making apparent what was already obvious: Texas Tech is a destination, not a stepping stone for him.
“All along, my goal was to get back here and be the head coach of this university,” he said.
“A ton of gratitude for everyone here. An opportunity to stand in front of you as your new head men’s basketball coach. I’m extremely proud. It is probably the best day of my life.”
In addition to showing his gratitude to Texas Tech players, administration and fans, Adams gave the crowd a taste of his personality.
He cracked jokes, got choked up when talking about his late twin brother and lobbed what could be interpreted as a shot at Chris Beard.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to leave this place,” Adams said.
Adams’ support in the community is evident. Blue Sky and Two Docs Brewing Co. extended to him the same offer of free goods that they used to try to keep Chris Beard in Lubbock.
The support among his players is no secret either. Former Red Raiders that played for Adams took to Twitter to celebrate the hire after it was announced Monday. Four current Red Raiders — Avery Benson, Chibuzo Agbo, Clarence Nadolny and Marcus Santos-Silva — attended the press conference, and Adams announced that all four wanted to be back with the team next season.
The son of a farmer, Adams explained that he’s not going to shy away from the necessary grind to keep the basketball program at the heights Chris Beard brought it to.
“I know what hard work is,” he said. “My dad made sure of that. You can count on me. I’m going to give you everything I got.”
Texas Tech President Lawrence Shovanec and Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt were present to cast votes of confidence in Adams.
While speaking to reporters after the press conference, Hocutt reminded that Adams is an accomplished coach, not just a local product to represent the program.
“People can say ‘you hired a head coach from West Texas,’ but we hired a nationally respected head coach that just happens to be from West Texas,” he said. “We’re in great hands. This program is in great hands as we move forward.”