Texas Tech hires former player Gerlich as women’s coach

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech announced Tuesday that Krista Gerlich, a former Lady Raiders assistant coach and player who helped the program win its only national championship in 1993, will be the new women’s basketball coach.

Gerlich has been the head coach at UT-Arlington the past seven seasons, where her 121 victories are the most in program history. She replaces Marlene Stollings, who was fired earlier this month after a newspaper report detailed claims from players of a toxic culture rife with incidents of emotional abuse from Stollings and her staff over the past two years.

“I can’t put into words how excited I am to be entrusted with rebuilding the Lady Raider basketball program, which is near and dear to my heart,” said Gerlich, whose No. 21 jersey was retired by the school in 1993. “I can’t wait to get to work on taking this program back to where it’s supposed to be, where it has been and where everyone in the Texas Tech community expects it to be.”

Gerlich was an All-Southwest Conference players for the Red Raiders and was named to the Final Four all-tournament team after the 1993 championship. She still ranks third in school history in assists (553).

The Texas Tech announcement also noted that Gerlich served a two-game suspension at UTA in 2015 following a misdemeanor arrest for public intoxication and violation of park hours. Texas Tech athletic director said Gerlich was “forthright and transparent” about the arrest, which he said is no longer on her record.

“We spoke with many people, including her athletic director, about the incident and am satisfied she learned from the incident and has continued to grow as a coach, role model and mentor to her student athletes,” Hocutt said.

Gerlich said she was open with Texas Tech officials about the incident.

“I’ve shared it with my team as an example of a growing experience to acknowledge that we aren’t all perfect and that everyone makes mistakes.” Gerlich said.

Gerlich spent three seasons as Texas Tech as an assistant under coach Marsha Sharp from 2003-2006. She then got her first head coaching job at Division II West Texas A&M. She has a 289-147 career record.