Billy Gillispie is back in the Texas A&M University system.
Tarleton State University announced Gillispie as its new men’s basketball head coach on Monday, hiring him from his alma mater Ranger College, where he had spent five seasons.
Gillispie served as the A&M men’s basketball coach from 2004-2007, leading the Aggies to a 21-10 season record, which at the time was the best record for a coach in their first season in A&M history.
In his final two seasons in Aggieland, Gillispie and the Aggies made NCAA Tournament bids, advancing to the second round in 2006 and to the Sweet 16 in 2007.
After his third season at A&M, Gillispie was hired by Kentucky, where he spent two seasons. Gillispie was also the head coach at Texas Tech during the 2011-2012 season.
His time post-A&M has been overshadowed by controversies, including drunk driving, player mistreatment and the use of ineligible players.
After he was fired from Kentucky in 2009, Gillispie was arrested for driving under the influence in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. During his first season with Texas Tech, Gillispie exceeded the NCAA’s 20-hour practice limit and was reprimanded by the school in January 2012.
Before the start of the next season, Gillispie was accused of mistreating his players, with allegations including forcing injured players to practice, keeping some players uncertain about their scholarship status and backing out of promises made to potential coaching staff hires. He resigned in September 2012, citing health reasons.
In his first season as head coach of Ranger College, the team’s 31 wins were forfeited after one of Gillespie's players was found to have been ineligible for the 2015-2016 season.