Mark Adams has stepped down as the men’s basketball coach at Texas Tech, the university announced in a statement Wednesday night.
Adams, 66, was suspended Sunday after the team’s regular-season finale when athletic director Kirby Hocutt was made aware that he made an “inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment” to a player. Texas Tech’s season ended Wednesday as the Red Raiders (16-16) lost to West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 Conference tournament.
Texas Tech’s statement said Hocutt determined that Adams’ comment was “unintentional and an isolated incident” and that the coach had apologized to the team, but Adams was still stepping down due to the “distraction” the incident created.
“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. 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,” Adams said.
Who is Mark Adams?
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Adams spent decades coaching college basketball in Texas at all different levels. He came to Texas Tech in 2016 as a member of former coach Chris Beard’s staff and was elevated into the top job when Beard left for the Texas job in 2021. A Texas Tech graduate, Adams went 43-25 in his two seasons leading the Red Raiders, including a Sweet 16 appearance last year.
Why was Mark Adams suspended?
According to a release the program published Sunday, Hocutt was made aware Friday of the incident between Adams and an unnamed player on the team.
“Adams was encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching and referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters,” the statement read. “Adams immediately addressed this with the team and apologized.
“Upon learning of the incident, Hocutt addressed this matter with Adams and issued him a written reprimand. Hocutt subsequently made the decision to suspend Adams effective immediately in order to conduct a more thorough inquiry of Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.”
What Mark Adams had to say about his comments
In a comment to Stadium, Adams said that he explained his intentions behind sharing the Bible verses to a coach who told him his remarks were troubling, but “I didn’t apologize.”
“I was quoting the scripture,” Adams said. “It was a private conversation about coaching and when you have a job, and being coachable. … I said that in the Bible that Jesus talks about how we all have bosses, and we all are servants. I was quoting the Bible about that.”
Mark Adams’ contract with Texas Tech
Last April after Texas Tech ended its season in the Sweet 16, the Brownfield, Texas, native received a contract extension – a new five-year, $15.5 million contract that ran through the 2026-27 season. It represented a 55% increase to the original deal he signed.
With annual base salaries of $300,000 plus rights fees, Adams’ total compensation was at $3 million for this season and was set to increase by $50,000 annually — to $3.05 million in 2023-24, $3.1 million in 2024-25, $3.15 million in 2025-26 and $3.2 million in 2026-27.