Kirby Hocutt Kept Tim Tadlock in Lubbock in a Fishy Way
"There was another school that was being aggressive in trying to recruit Coach Tadlock," said Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt, reminiscing about his favorite Tim Tadlock memory. That was several years ago, and we know that Hocutt did indeed lure Tadlock to remain at the top of the Texas Tech baseball program.
So how did Hocutt do it? Did he money whip him? Tim Tadlock is certainly paid well and is under contract through 2025, but that isn't what sold the man. That other school, *coughTexasLonghornscough* has been known to pay coaches well. It's not in Texas Tech's nature to flex the monetary arm for coaches.
So if it wasn't money, how did Hocutt keep Tadlock in Lubbock? Beyond a commitment to improving the program and handing out resources to allow Tadlock to get great players and develop them it was pretty simple.
Hocutt gave Tadlock some fish. Seriously.
You can watch Hocutt waltz down memory lane here starting at the 6:26 mark below.
Hocutt and Tadlock were out on the golf course to keep Tadlock "away from his phone" and away from recruitment calls from other universities when the pair came up to the 14th hole. Hocutt felt that the two men had an understanding that Tadlock was committed to Texas Tech and was going to throw one last haymaker to land his coach and offered Tadlock anything he wanted.
I'll relay the conversation as Hocutt recalls it:
(Dramatized for effect)
"Tim, is there anything else we can do for you?" Hocutt said, desperately trying to close the deal.
"Oh, I don't know," Tadlock opened with his signature drawl, looking to the sun for answers he already had. "There is one more thing. If it's possible..."
Kirby locked in, focused, and intently waiting for the enormous ask from the best college baseball coach in the country. He thought he knew Tadlock, but had no idea where this conversation was headed. For the first time since he shanked his driver on the 4th hole, Hocutt was unsure of the moment. "W-w-what's on your mind, Tim?" Hocutt responded after a beat.
"You know that pond out off of number 18 at the Rawls Golf Course?"
Hocutt stared blankly as Tadlock continued talking to the sky like Clint Eastwood. Then, he turned back to Hocutt's face and finished, "You think we can stock that pond?"
"With what, Tim? Gold? 100 dollar bills? Name your price," Hocutt wanted to say. But he kept his cool, knowing Tadlock was a simple man with simple tastes. He wanted fish.
"I do think we can stock that pond," Hocutt said, sighing with relief.
Tadlock looked back toward the sun with a glint of victory in his eye, "I'd like to do a little fishin' after we win the National Championship in 2021."
Alright, maybe he didn't say that last part, but the recruits, players and coaching staff have been fishing in that pond ever since. Hocutt always gets his man.