Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Texas Tech Centennial

Texas Tech was established in 1923 so we are in a centennial year. Lots of celebrations are going on all over the state.  At the Tech Museum there is a commemorative exhibit of the University.  Today I went to the Museum to check it out.  It was pretty impressive. I read all the stuff & looked at the pictures & took a few.  Mostly, and sadly, the pictures I took were mainly sports.  I graduated from Tech but it's the sports that cause the memories.

Ok, this is not athletic related.  I feell a little better.

Model of Administration Building
Construction started in 1924

Here are the 1993 Lady Raiders basketball team, our first National Championship ever in any sport. It was a season to remember. The star player's name is Sheryl Swoopes. She was only at Tech for her last 2 years of school.  I had started to notice they were doing well so I went to a few games her junior year.  I was excited about the future...so I bought a season ticket for the next year. We were still in the Lubbock Colesium then, AKA 'The Bubble".  I paid $75 for that ticket.  First game out, Sheryl hit one of the pylons that holds the basket & crumpled. I remember thinking I'd just blown $75.  Then one of the assistant coaches went out & picked her up in his arms & she put her arms around his neck & buried her face in his chest. He sat her on the bench & the trainer checked her out  & then she went back out & scored like 30 points. I breathed a sigh of financial relief.  

The team lost 3 games that season.  Truthfully, I only remember 1 loss but I'll go with the internet on that one.  They rolled through the post season for a Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.  It was glorious.  The coach was Marsha Sharp.  The city figuratively canonized her, even naming a freeway after her.  She never again had the same glory though she possibly could have.  Sadly, her later star player ended up pregnant & didn't mention it to anyone til it was too late to redshirt her.  I can only imagine as a 19 year old, she was scared & confused.  I certainly would have been. But the rumors I heard is that Saint Marsha berated & humiliated her & not only did she leave but her remaining teammates took it all a little personally.  They didn't leave but the spirit & trust of the team was broken.  Saint Marsha's days were numbered. 

The program fell into disrepair & sadness.  A couple of years ago, Tech hired one of the members of the championship as head coach.  She seems to be doing well.  I'd like to see that 1993 magic again.

Swoops went on to  be the 1st player drafted in the WNBA.

1993 Lady Raider Basketball

In 2001 Tech hired Legendery Men's Basketball coach Bob Knight.  We'd had some ok years with James Dickey but he had a good recruiting class coming in & I truly believe he could have turned things around. The University, namely AD Gerald Myers did Coach Dickey dirty.  He went out & hired Coach Knight before he fired Dickey.  It was a big old deal.

Coach Knight was both famous & infamous.  He was a tough taskmaster & his players loved him.  He made them go to class.  He taught them that not everyone was going to be playing money ball & that they needed to take advantage of the education Tech was handing them. When he ended up leaving, his son took over the program. Pat Knight was not his dad & was kind of a disaster.  I never heard anything official but I think the agreement was for a limited time to get Pat the job.

Coach Knight was rude & crude in some ways.  He did not suffer fools at all. And I get that because there are fools everywhere.  I liked him.  I always loved it when they said "Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight".  He deserved his solo picture in the centennial tribute.

Coach Bob Knight

In 2008, we had us a football team.  A real one. Mike Leach was out coach & we had a team that could score crazy points. It was awesome.  And when the dreaded evil empire, the University of Texas, then the number 1 team in the nation came to town.  We were undefeated til them (#7 I think) but definite underdogs. But that didn't sink in to Graham Harrrell or Michael Crabtree because they scored the most amazing final TD ever in our history & sent the bovine home crying.  Of course, we lost to Oklahoma the next week like 55-0 & lost the bowl game.  But that game was soooooo good!!

In 2014 Texas Tech Baseball under coach Tim Tadlock went to the College World Series for the first time.  We've been 4 now.  I'm calling it...we will win it all one day.

And 2019.  Holy Cow...what a year.  We had a magical Men's basketball that went to the National Championship March Madness game. I've written about it before.  They played great but Coach Beard was outcoached & they lost the game.  It broke my heart in half.  I can't say anymore.

I also loved 2 more pictures.

The top is the first appearance of the Masked Rider who leads the best entrance of any team in college football ever.  It was in 1954 at the Gator Bowl.

The last is the words to the Matador Song. I had no idea it'd been around since 1952. And it warms my heart every time I hear it. 

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