Texas A&M Basketball History
This team from Texas A&M playing men's basketball is a thing of great pride for that area. They've had some ups and downs, but finished last year in the top 25 and played hard in the tournament. If you really want to get to the modern history and era of when this team began playing the way it does today, you have to turn it over to Shelby Metcalf. He started with a team in 1963 that had little direction and he took them to 13-1 in conference and all of the sudden there they sat with title. Within his 26 years of coaching there he won six SWC titles, two SWC tourney championships and the team went to six NCAA and NIT appearances. He left being the winnings coach in SWC history at the end of his career.
After all the great things that Metcalf did, all went downhill. I won't bore you with the numbers, but going through many coaches they just couldn't find that right fit. They were investigated for false recruiting reports, couldn't get to the post-season, and in general were not in the winning side. They lost way more than they won and as we all know that's no way for a team to be. These teams that we see in the tournaments today like Butler and Gonzaga would tear teams like this alive. They had to find somebody to fix the leak. Flood was probably more the word. They needed to get someone to come in and stop this damn from flowing over and completely ending this school's basketball program.
Billy Gillespie came in to coach this team from UTEP after Watkins resigned in 2004. Gillespie brought a toughness and swagger they didn't have before. He is also a great recruiter.
Gillespie surrounds himself with winners as far as his assistant coaches go. They came in and did a bang up job and got this team a lot of National buzz and got them big steps in conference and back into the NCAA tournament. They became the team that the head office wanted them to be and the team the fans wanted to see on the floor so they could smile and cheer about a great team to be proud of once again. They really made a difference. Eventually all good things come to an end and of course in coaching when you are at a bit of a smaller school and there are schools with more tradition they will come calling.
Kentucky was the team that called for Gillespie. He accepted and left. Soon after the Aggies signed head coach Mark Turgeon. Turgeon got the team winning and recruiting bigger and better than Gilllespie. He really did a good job there. He seemed to be doing well for a few years, but began to become discouraged with fan and booster support. He just felt like there was no encouragement there. What did he do? He ended up going to Maryland. Texas A&M will come to the SEC looking for a new identity.
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