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Athletics Director Gerald Myers

Gerald Myers

Director of Athletics, Texas Tech University

ships into his first season as head coach of the baseball team in 2009.

  • Texas Tech finished 47th in the NACDA Direc-

tor’s Cup standings in 2007, the highest finish ever for the program.

  • Since 1996, 16 of the 17 sport programs have

reached NCAA postseason play.

“There is only one way to succeed at any- thing, and that is to give everything.”

  • Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi could have been prophesy- ing about Gerald Myers. While he has given 12 years to the department as director of athlet- ics, Myers’ legacy and influence span decades. From his humble beginnings as a star on the freshman basketball squad to his all-Southwest Conference days on the varsity team to his 20 years on the bench as head basketball coach, Myers is the face of Texas Tech Athletics.

Only longtime student-athlete, coach and administrator Polk Robison spent more time on campus than Myers. Robison, Myers basketball coach in the 50s, spent the better part of seven decades in the Texas Tech Athletics depart- ment.

The athletics landscape changed in 1955 when a young basketball player from Borger, Texas, stepped onto campus for the first time. Fifteen years later, Myers took over the reins of the Red Raider basketball program and served successfully for 20 years, only to retire and take his place in administration, eventually assuming the role he currently holds.

Myers’ faced a formidable task upon his hir- ing as athletics director in 1996. The program was undergoing an NCAA investigation that re- sulted in the levy of severe sanctions, including loss of scholarships and a ban on postseason play for some sport programs. Myers faced the situation head on, surrounded himself with a solid administrative staff and revamped the pro- gram, putting it back on the fast track as one of the top intercollegiate departments in the Big 12 Conference.

Over a decade later, Texas Tech on average consistently finishes among the top half in the Big 12 Conference. The most notable differ- ence is the emphasis placed on Texas Tech’s non-revenue sport programs. Led by the track and field program and joined by tennis and golf, Tech’s Olympic sport programs have undergone a renaissance and have competed for confer- ence and national championships.

In his fifth decade of service to Texas Tech University, the always humble Myers will never admit it his positive mark on the program, but has to be proud of the accomplishments that have taken place during his tenure:

  • Texas Tech’s sport programs have benefitted

from Myers’ determination to have some of the best facilities in the country. With over $250 mil- lion in new constructions and renovations since 1999, Texas Tech has leveled the playing field. The United Spirit Arena, a 15,050-seat state-of-

the-art venue, is one of the premier on-campus facilities in the country and houses both basket- ball programs and volleyball. Major renovations to Jones AT&T Stadium and the addition of the west side building added 54 luxury suites, 1,200 indoor and outdoor club seats in The Stadium Club and a state-of-the-art press level brought Texas Tech Football to the upper tier of the Big 12 Conference, while the Football Training Fa- cility provides the program with tools needed to be successful on and off the field. Other new facilities include the McLeod Tennis Complex, with 12 lighted courts and lockerroom facilities, and Rocky Johnson Field, home to Red Raider softball.

  • Academics have been a priority under Myers as

evidenced by the addition of the Marsha Sharp Center for Student-Athletes, completed in 2003. The center houses computer work stations, tutor- ing rooms, classrooms, offices for academic sup- port staff and an academic hall of fame. Named for former Lady Raider and Hall of Fame bas- ketball coach Marsha Sharp, the MSC and the academics program have become models for other institutions as administrators from across the country have visited the center.

  • The academics program was recognized with

the D-1A Athletic Director’s Association Program of Excellence Award.

  • Ninety-two percent of all student-athletes that

exhausted their eligibility received degrees in 2007 and 2008.

  • The football program’s graduation rate in 2007

ranked among the top 10 of all Division I public institutions.

  • He re-energized the compliance program in the

wake of the NCAA investigation, bringing in some of the top compliance personnel in the country during the last 12 years to create one of the more respected offices in the country.

  • The budget for the athletics department has

grown from $9 million in 1996 to over $40 mil- lion in 2008. Increased efforts in fund-raising and Texas Tech’s inclusion in the Big 12 Conference are two of the reasons for the dramatic climb into the upper tier of all league schools.

  • Eleven of Texas Tech’s 12 current head coach-

es were hired by Myers. The group represents over 25 post-season NCAA appearances.

  • Red Raider Football has appeared in eight-

straight bowl games and boasts five champion- ships since Mike Leach’s hiring in 2000. Texas Tech is the only program among all Big 12 institu- tions to qualify for bowl consideration each year since 1996.

  • Myers recently named Pat Knight the successor

to his legendary father for the men’s basketball program. Dan Spencer will take the experience of back-to-back College World Series Champion-

Whether success is measured financially or by wins and losses, neither outweighs the pros- perity Texas Tech student-athletes have enjoyed in the classroom. While Myers may not directly impact whether a student-athlete is successful in the classroom and graduates, his support has led to an increase in graduation rates.

In the year prior to Myers’ first as athletics director, the graduation rate of Texas Tech stu- dent-athletes was 44 percent. Despite assum- ing command of a program on NCAA probation during his first year, Red Raider student-athletes posted a 56 percent graduation rate, four points higher than that of the student body. The num- ber climbed to 73 percent in 2007. Additionally, the Texas Tech football program is the only pro- gram in the Big 12 Conference to consistently be recognized by the American Football Coaches Association as posting a rate above 70 percent each of the last eight years.

Myers’ success at Texas Tech has transpired into national recognition and responsibilities as well. He served on the NCAA golf committee, was a past president of the National Associa- tion of Basketball Coaches and a member of the men’s basketball selection committee. He was recognized with the Gen. Robert R. Neyland Outstanding Athletic Director Award and the NABC honored him with the Metropolitan Award for his contributions to college basketball.

The winningest men’s basketball coach in Texas Tech history, Myers reined on the bench for 20 years, from 1971-91. After taking over midway through the 1970-71 season, his teams posted a 326-261 record, 16 winning seasons, two Southwest Conference Championships and four NCAA tournament berths.

Myers earned three letters as a member of the Texas Tech basketball team from 1956-59. His 86.9 free throw percentage in 1957-58 is still second best on the all-time Texas Tech career charts.

Myers received a degree in education from Texas Tech in 1959 and a master’s in 1965. He was head coach at Monterey High School in Lubbock and Houston Baptist University, before returning to Texas Tech in 1970 as an assistant coach.

Myers is a member of the Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Honor, the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame and the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame.

He and his wife, Carol, have a daughter, Lau- rie, and son-in-law, Todd McKee, and two grand- sons, Matthew and Connor.



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