Billy Gillispie will return to Division I as Tarleton State head coach

Tarleton State, one of the program’s moving up to Division I for the 2020-21 season, announced the hiring of Billy Gillispie as head men’s basketball coach on Monday evening. Gillispie, who has been at Ranger College (TX) since 2015, has eight seasons as a D-I head coach with stints at UTEP, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Texas Tech.

“Coach Gillispie has shown to truly be genuine in the way he cares about helping student-athletes achieve great success both on and off the court,” said University President Dr. James Hurley. “After a national search and an extensive interview process, we are confident that Coach Gillispie’s experience and commitment to Tarleton and our community make him the right person to build on the storied success of Texan basketball.”

Gillispie is a Texas-native, graduated from Texas State and spent the vast majority of his professional career in his home state.

“I promise to make the most of this opportunity and honor everyone involved,” said Gillispie. “I’m looking forward to helping make great things happen as we move to the NCAA Division I level.”

This is a splashy and impressive hire for Tarleton, joining the WAC after years of success at the Division II level. The Texans were coached for 30 years by Lonn Reisman, now the VP of Intercollegiate Athletics. Lonn’s son, Chris Reisman, coached the team for the last two seasons before stepping down this month to take a new role at the University.


credit to Tarleton State Athletics for the image