Texas Tech leaders officially introduced Tubby Smith at a news conference at the United Spirit Arena.
Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt explained he wanted to find someone who exhibits West Texas values, including hard work and determination. He said he also wanted an experienced person with proven leadership.
"We have a head coach that allows us to check off all the criteria I mentioned," Hocutt said.
Hocutt said the search process began 19 days ago. He said he made one candidate recommendation to incoming president Duane Nellis and interim president Lawrence Shovanec. They then passed the recommendation along to Chancellor Kent Hance.
"It's wonderful to be part of this Lubbock community," Smith, 61, said greeting the audience. The initial meeting when Tech administrators flew in to meet Smith left him impressed.
"In fact, we were just going to talk. They indicated they had two empty seats on the plane." Smith returned to visit Lubbock. He said he's familiar with the region having recruited junior college athletes in the region.
Smith said he'll begin work on recruiting immediately.
The coach admitted it can be difficult for some current Red Raiders who may play for their second, third or fourth college coach in as many years.
"It's not easy, every one of [the coaches] has a different philosophy."
On a weather note, Kliff Kingsbury was introduced as the next football coach during a West Texas dust storm. Smith was introduced with the temperature in the 30s outside, about the same as Smith's previous coaching stop at Minneapolis, after a high in the mid 80s here yesterday. Smith joked, "we didn't bring this weather with us."
In six seasons at Minnesota his teams made the NCAA tournament three times. Smith led Kentucky to a national championship in 1998.
We'll have much more tonight on FOX 34 News at Nine.