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Report: Gillispie called 911 fearing heart attack

Texas A M Texas Tech Basketball

Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie yells at Jaye Crockett during an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Zach Long)


Billy Gillispie is having a rough weekend.

According to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Texas Tech coach called 911 early Friday morning in extreme pain, fearing that he was suffering a heart attack or stroke. Speaking with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal today, Gillispie claimed to be unaware that his players had met with the school’s AD, leveling allegations that he had mistreated them during offseason practices.

“There will be an appropriate time to talk about that,” Gillispie told the Lubbock paper. “Right now I’m trying to get better.”

Gillispie was once one of college basketball’s brightest stars, building UTEP and Texas A&M into contenders before landing one of the sport’s top jobs as head man at Kentucky. His tenure there was marred by uncharacteristic losses, and he was fired after two seasons, with his fall from grace capped by a drunk driving arrest and subsequent treatment for alcohol abuse.

Gillispie returned to his home state as head coach of Texas Tech last season, suffering through an abysmal 8-23 campaign. The 52-year-old coach acknowledged in today’s report that he had been suffering from stress, which may have contributed to his symptoms, which included dangerously high blood pressure.

“It was the worst I’ve ever felt,” he told the paper.