The Texas Tech University Red Raiders basketball team competes in the highly competitive Big 12 Conference alongside perennial powerhouse programs like the University of Kansas and the University of Texas. While the Big 12 is predominately known around the country as a football conference the grouping of 12 teams from seven states (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas) consistently sends 5 or 6 teams to the NCAA Tournament every March. In many respects the success the Big 12 has in football (having appeared in 7 of the last 10 national championship games) overshadows the accomplishments on the hardwood where every season teams like the Texas Tech Red Raiders step up and make a significant impact on the college basketball landscape.
Located in the West Texas city of Lubbock the Texas Tech Red Raiders and their 30,000 students (24,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate) are typically associated with their football program in spite of the fact that the basketball has had a similar level of success. Over the years the Red Raiders have won 5 conference tournaments and 6 regular season championships during their time in the now defunct Southwest Conference (dissolved in May, 1996). The Texas Tech program has an impressive 14 NCAA Tournament appearances to its credit and has had the distinction of sending about a dozen players on to play professional basketball in the NBA.
The current (February, 2010) Texas Tech University Red Raiders are coached by Pat Knight. Pat is the son of former Red Raiders coach and basketball Hall of Fame member Bob Knight. Much to the surprise of college basketball followers Pat Knight took over the head coaching responsibilities at Texas Tech for his father mid-season in 2008. Coach Pat Knight first joined the Red Raiders in 2000 as an assistant. In March of 2001 Pat’s father, legendary Coach Bob Knight, was hired to replace James Dickey as the Texas Tech head coach. Despite the fact that Pat was tapped in 2005 to be the heir apparent when his father stepped down the timing of the mid-season retirement of Bobby Knight on February 4, 2008 still took much of the nation by surprise.
Prior to his retirement Bob Knight had a successful coaching stint at Texas Tech University that concluded with a 138-82 record over 7 seasons. Although Bobby Knight did not experience the same level of success as he had earlier in his coaching career while with Indiana where he won multiple national championships his impact on the Texas Tech Red Raiders program was unquestionably positive. During his time in Lubbock Coach Knight reached record breaking milestones that brought an unprecedented amount of attention to the Texas Tech basketball program during a time when the school would have likely otherwise been under the radar of most major college hoops stories. On New Year’s Day 2007 Bob Knight surpassed Dean Smith for sole possession of the most coaching victories of all-time with 880 to his name. A little over a year later on January 16, 2008 Knight became the first coach in men’s college basketball to ever reach the 900 win mark.Techmaster60
The Texas Tech University Red Raiders basketball program has had its fair share of up and down seasons during its lengthy existence that dates back to 1925. Fans close to the program are optimistic that Pat Knight will bring the beloved program back to national prominence in the years to come.