After fourteen years as the athletic director for Texas Tech, Gerald Myers will retire effective May 31, 2011.
While Myers is highly regarded for his accomplishments at Tech, he will certainly be remembered for hiring two of some of the most colorful coaches in their respective professions: Bob Knight and Mike Leach.
Knight led the Red Raiders’ basketball team to four consecutive 20-plus win seasons in his first four years and, as far as I can remember, failed to chuck a single chair. That in itself might be a bigger victory than the 902 Knight had when he left Lubbock in 2008, the most all-time.
Leach was hired in 2000 to bring his Air Raid offense to what had been a complacent Red Raiders football team. Prior to Leach supposedly locking WR Adam James in an equipment shed, Tech experienced remarkable success, going 84-43 under Leach.
Weirdo coaches aside, the 74-year-old AD was also responsible for raising Tech’s athletic budget by nearly $40 million in his fourteen years and helping turn the corner on a program that was in the middle of severe NCAA sanctions at the time of his hire.
Stressing the “student” in student-athlete was a priority under Myer’s administration as well. Tech academic program has been recognized with a DI Athletic Director’s Association Program of Excellence Award. In 2009, ninety-three percent of all student-athletes who completed their eligibility graduated.
Since 1999, Myers oversaw over $250 million in facility renovations and construction that included improvements to the football stadium, as well as the building of the United Spirit Arena for basketball and volleyball.
The official TTU press release demonstrates the years of dedication by Myers to the university.
“He [Myers] began his affiliation with the university as a basketball student-athlete in 1955, where he earned three varsity letters, and became the school’s first All-Southwest Conference performer in any sport. Following his playing career, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech in 1959 and his master’s in 1965. He returned to campus in 1970 as an assistant coach and was named the head coach just one year later in 1971. Myers is the school’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach with a career record of 326-261 over the span of 20 seasons. He compiled two Southwest Conference championships and led the Red Raiders to four NCAA Tournaments.”
But enough of Myers’ accomplishments. Here’s what some other butt-kissers had to say…
“Gerald Myers loves Texas Tech University, and his enthusiasm and hard work have exemplified that love. He has a passion for excellence and has been a very successful and well respected athletic director. With his leadership, he has taken Texas Tech to a position of prominence, and while doing so he has been a great steward of Texas Tech’s resources.”
–TTU Chancellor Kent Hance
“Throughout his storied career, Gerald has been a gentleman. He is well respected by his peers throughout the Big 12 Conference and across the country, and has represented Texas Tech well. We wish him and Carol the best in the future, and they will always be a part of the Texas Tech family. They both can be proud of years of service to the university that is unparalleled.”
–TTU President Guy Bailey