Texas Tech coach Mark Adams resigned Wednesday following the team's season-ending loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament's first round. The resignation was announced just three days after Adams was suspended by the school for allegedly making inappropriate and racially insensitive remarks during a coaching session with a player.
That incident launched an inquiry "related to his interactions with his players and staff," though it was determined by the school taht the incident was not a pattern of behavior.
"Following this inquiry, Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt determined that the racially insensitive comment was unintentional and an isolated incident," said a school statement. "Following the comment, Adams immediately apologized to the team."
Adams was initially issued a written reprimand for the interaction with the player. He is also accused of spitting on a player earlier in the season; he denied doing so but admitted he "slobbered" on the player during a game after having a cough and going to the doctor, according to Stadium's Jeff Goodman.
"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 in his resignation. "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."
Texas Tech has built a proud basketball program, and the news of Adams' resignation may attract a pool of intriguing candidates from which Hocutt can hire. Sources tell CBS Sports' Matt Norlander that Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills and North Texas' Grant McCasland are likely the school's top targets. Mills has led ORU to two NCAA Tournament appearances in the last three seasons, while McCasland has twice led the Mean Green to tourney berths since 2020 -- and they are in position to do so again this year as a contender in the Conference USA.
Adams, a Texas Tech graduate, was 27-10 in his first season in 2021-22 and led the Red Raiders to the Sweet 16. Prior to his suspension they were just 16-15 on the year and tracking towards missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017.