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Texas Tech names Williams interim coach for Big 12 tournament with Adams suspended

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Washington at Texas Tech

Dec 22, 2021; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders assistant coach Corey Williams on the bench in the first half in the game against the Eastern Washington Eagles at United Supermarkets Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech named second-year assistant Corey Williams as its interim coach Monday night for the Big 12 tournament as the school continues its investigation of suspended coach Mark Adams.

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt said he was doing a more thorough inquiry into Adams’ interactions with his players and staff after the coach’s suspension for what the school said was the “use of an inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment” when addressing a player last week.

Adams was suspended Sunday. He had coached the regular season-ending 71-68 loss to Oklahoma State at home Saturday, a day after Hocutt was made aware of the incident. Hocutt initially gave Adams a written reprimand and allowed him to continue coaching.

The Red Raiders (16-15, 5-13 Big 12) went to the NCAA Sweet 16 last season, Adams’ first as coach of his alma mater. They are the No. 9 seed in the Big 12 tournament and play West Virginia on Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri.

Williams was head coach at Stetson for six seasons, and then an assistant for two seasons at Arkansas before joining the Tech staff. He was 58-133 as the Hatters’ head coach.

The 66-year-old Adams was on Chris Beard’s staff over a five-season span when the Red Raiders made the national championship game in 2019, a year after getting to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Adams became the head coach when Beard left to coach Texas, his alma mater. Beard was fired this season by the Longhorns after he was charged in a felony domestic violence case; prosecutors later dropped the charge.