August 24, 2020 

Texas Tech hires Krista Gerlich as new head coach

A homecoming leads a big week of Lady Raiders news

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New head coach Krista Gerlich is presented with her no. 21 jersey by athletic director Kirby Hocutt at the introductory press conference via Elise Bressler/TTU Athletics

Smiles were seen on the Zoom call as Krista Gerlich was officially introduced as the new head coach of the Texas Tech Lady Raiders last week.

The hometown athlete from Spearman, Tx, returned to where it started.

Standing in front of scarlet and black balloons, athletic director Kirby Hocutt excitedly presented Gerlich with her no. 21 jersey, an updated one from when she was a Lady Raider.

Gerlich is a legend for not only the Lady Raider program but Texas Tech athletics as a whole.

She helped lead the team to their first ever national championship in 1993 alongside fellow Lady Raider hall of famer and WNBA Houston Comets legend, Sheryl Swoopes, during their senior years.

Gerlich started by saying that it was “the greatest day of her professional career” to be back to where her basketball career started. It was her dream to become head coach of her alma mater.

Despite 2020 being a year of unknowns in the college sports world due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gerlich stated to her team, “I’m just letting you guys know I’m an example right now…I’m proof that good things can happen in the year 2020.”

Before the press conference, Gerlich made it a point to reach out to as many members of her new team as she could. She made it clear that she wanted to get to know her players and continue to have “great conversations” and to get to know them.

14 years ago, Gerlich left her assistant coaching position at Tech to become the head coach at Division 2 West Texas A&M before moving onto University of Texas-Arlington.

At West Texas A&M, she lead the Lady Buffaloes to four straight conference championships and five Division 2 NCAA tournament appearances.

While at UT-A, Gerlich brought life back to a dwindling program, leading the Lady Mavericks to two WNIT appearances. Her first season for the 2013-2014 season, she posed a 4-25 record and 10th in the Sun Belt Conference, followed by a huge turnaround for her second season in 2014-2015, posing a 17-13 record and tied for 4th in the conference.

On the 18th, Gerlich penned a letter to the Lady Mavericks in which she wished the best to the future of the program. She said, “My hope for this team is for them to continue to be winners on and off the court, and also be great ambassadors for the University of Texas at Arlington.”

Despite the press conference being on Zoom and media being unable to attend in-person, Gerlich expressed her enjoyment of it because it allowed her to speak to her team directly.

She stated, “And the positive right now of this being a Zoom call, is that the current team is in attendance and that’s it…this is going to make me focus on you…talk directly to you. And in my humble opinion, that’s what you guys need…my undivided attention.”

She ensured that her players will feel empowered and that despite being a women’s basketball coach, the bigger purpose for her it to ensure that that she will encourage her players and instill confidence in them.

A few days before Gerlich was announced as the new head coach, two of Tech’s leading scorers, Chrislyn Carr and Lexi Gordon announced they had entered the portal.

Carr and Gordon’s entrance into the transfer portal per Raoul on twitter.

The day after Gerlich’s hire, Tech’s recent signee Nyam Thornton announced she was transferring to Penn State per a press release.

On the 20th, Carr and Gordon took their names out of the portal and announced they were staying at Tech per David Colllieron.

Report of Carr and Gordon staying at Texas Tech via David Collieron on Twitter.

Gerlich’s daughter Bryn announced her transfer from Oklahoma State to Texas Tech, joining her mom and continuing the Lady Raider legacy on twitter.

Bryn Gerlich announcing her transfer to Texas Tech on Twitter.

And finally, Gerlich gained her first commitment when Chantae Embry announced her commitment to the Lady Raiders on the 20th. The 2021 4-star forward out of Prague, Ok chose the Lady Raiders over Texas A&M, Kansas State and Kansas.

Chante Embry announced her commitment to Gerlich and the Lady Raiders via Twitter.

Gerlich finished up with optimism and eagerness to get to work with her new team.

“I am anxious to be able to get into the gym and really see what that’s going to look like. If I can tell you one thing, we are going to play super hard and we’re going to be entertaining to watch.”

Written by Lauren Rosenberg

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