Tuberville interviewing with Texas Tech officials
Associated Press Writer
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville is checking out the open head coaching job at Texas Tech.
Texas Tech athletics department spokesman Chris Cook said Tuesday that Tuberville was expected to meet with university and athletic department administrators.
The 55-year-old Tuberville stepped down at Auburn in December 2008, ending a 10-year tenure that included a perfect season and a string of teams that contended for Southeastern Conference championships.
Athletics director Gerald Myers has said he could decide on a new coach by the end of the week. He also said interim coach Ruffin McNeill will be strongly considered for the permanent job.
McNeill took over after Texas Tech suspended and then fired Mike Leach amid allegations of mistreating receiver Adam James after the player suffered a concussion. McNeill led the Red Raiders to a 41-31 win over Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday.
Tuberville was 85-40 at Auburn, including a 13-0 season in 2004 when the Tigers finished No. 2 and won the SEC title for the first time in 15 years. He led Auburn to five SEC Western Division titles and eight consecutive bowl appearances from 2000-07.
Before coming to Auburn, Tuberville coached at Mississippi and compiled a 25-20 record in four years after inheriting a program under serious NCAA scholarship sanctions. He also spent a year as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M when the Aggies finished 10-0-1 and were among the nation’s defensive leaders.
Leach has denied he mistreated James, son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James.
The sophomore alleges the coach twice ordered him to stand while confined to small, dark places after the player was diagnosed with a concussion.
Leach was fired with cause, which means the university does not have to pay him any of the money remaining in his contract, or the $800,000 he was due to receive Dec. 31 if he was still coaching Tech. Leach was in the first season of a five-year, $12.7 million contract.
Leach’s attorney has said he plans to file a lawsuit against the school. The investigation into Adam James’ allegations is ongoing, school officials said.