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The Texas Tech Red Raiders are the athletic teams that represent Texas Tech Universitymarker (TTU). The women's basketball team uses the name Lady Raiders; however, the school's other women's teams use the "Red Raiders" name. The university's athletic program fields teams in 17 varsity sports and 30 club sports. The Masked Rider and Raider Red serve as the mascots representing the teams, and the school colors are red and black. Texas Tech participates in the NCAA Division I and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference. The teams compete as members of the Big 12 South Division.

From 1932 until 1956, the university belonged to the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Texas Tech was admitted to the Southwest Conference on May 12, 1956. When the Southwest Conference disbanded in 1995, Texas Tech, along with the University of Texas at Austinmarker, Texas A&M Universitymarker, and Baylor Universitymarker, merged with the Big 8 Conference to form the Big 12.

The university's athletic director is Gerald Myers. Bob Knight, the winningest coach in men's Division I basketball history, coached the Red Raiders men's basketball team from 2001 to 2008. Following Bob Knight's retirement in 2008, his son Pat Knight assumed head coaching duties. The Red Raiders football team, which has been coached by Mike Leach since 2000, is a member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and has appeared in the 19th-most bowl games of any team. In 1993, lead by coach Marsha Sharp, the Lady Raiders basketball team won the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. Following Sharp's retirement in 2006, Kristy Curry was named Lady Raiders head coach. Red Raiders baseball coach Larry Hays, who is one of only four coaches in NCAA baseball history to win 1,500 career games, retired in 2008. He is replaced by Dan Spencer.


Men's varsity sports at Texas Tech are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track & field. Women's varsity sports are basketball, cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track & field, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. The university also offers 30 club sports, including cycling, equestrian, ice hockey, lacrosse, polo, rodeo, rugby, running, sky diving, swimming, and wrestling. The colors are TTU Scarlet and Black.


Basketball came to Texas Tech only two years after the school was founded. The inaugural game was a 37–25 loss to Daniel Baker College. Tech would lose two more games before finally clinching their first ever victory—35–21 at Sul Ross University.

Grady Higginbotham was the first coach, earning a 14–18 record over two seasons. At .438, Higgenbotham was the only Tech basketball coach to garner an overall losing record during his stay. Following Higgenbotham's departure, Victor Payne led the Matadors (as the school's teams were known until 1936) from 1927 to 1930. His final tally stood at 32 wins and 20 losses. W. L. Golightly coached only one season, bringing in an 11–9 record. Dell Morgan held the head coaching job from 1931 to 1934, chalking up 42 wins to 29 losses. He was followed by Virgil Ballard. Though Ballard coached only a single season, it was during his time that the team won their milestone 100th game, a one-point victory over House of David. Ballard left with a 15–9 record.

Berl Huffman was twice the head basketball coach at Texas Tech—first from 1935 to 1942 and then from 1946 to 1947. During his total of eight seasons, he garnered a record of 121–67. Polk Robison was the only other person to serve two different times as the head basketball coach at the school. When Huffman left in 1942, Robison took the job. And, when Huffman left a second time in 1947, it was Robison who again filled the position, this time remaining until 1961. At a total of 18 seasons, his stay is the second longest of any Red Raiders basketball coach, behind Gerald Myers. He departed after leading his teams to 254 wins, 195 losses, and the first two NCAA tournaments in school history.

Gene Gibson followed Robison into the position. In his eight seasons, he chalked up the second worst record of any head basketball coach at Tech. Still, at 100–92, there were eight more wins than losses. Bob Bass led the program to a 22–15 record over a season-and-a-half before returning to professional basketball coaching duties.

Bob Knight became the men's basketball coach in 2001. He retired on February 4, 2008. On New Year's Day 2007, a 70–68 defeat of New Mexico by Tech marked the 880th total win for Knight, making him the winningest coach in men's college basketball history. Knight also has several other distinctions, including being the only coach to win the NCAA, the NIT, the Olympic Gold, and the Pan-Am Gold, and has been given several awards. Knight is succeeded by his son Pat Knight.

Of the varsity sports, Texas Tech has had its greatest success in women's basketball. Led by its star player Sheryl Swoopes and head coach Marsha Sharp, the Lady Raiders won the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship in 1993. In early 2006, Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp retired and was replaced on March 30, 2006 by Kristy Curry, who had been the coach at Purdue.


The Red Raiders football team is a member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A). Texas Tech played its first intercollegiate football game on October 3, 1925. The contest, against McMurry University, ended in a controversial 0–0 tie. Tech's Elson Archibald seemed to have kicked a game-winning 20-yard field goal but the referee ruled that the clock had run out before the score. It was later reported that the referee made the call to get revenge because he wanted to be the team's first head coach but the job was instead given to Ewing Y. Freeland.
Tech in action in 2007

In 1932, the program joined the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Five years later, the team won its first conference championship and was invited to the Sun Bowl. The game was played on January 1, 1938, and resulted in a 6–7 loss to West Virginia. Texas Tech suffered four more bowl losses before getting their first postseason win in the 1952 Sun Bowl. Before withdrawing for the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1956, the Red Raiders won a total of eight conference championships and one co-championship, the most titles held by a Border Conference team.

In 1960, Texas Tech was admitted to the Southwest Conference (SWC). The Red Raiders won conference co-championships in 1976 and 1994. The team remained in the SWC until the conference ceased operations 1996. Following the dissolution of the SWC, the university became a charter member of the Big 12 Conference.

The team has the distinction of being the only one in the Big 12 to have a winning season each year since the conference was created in 1996. In July 2007, ESPN ranked all 119 FBS (formerly 1-A) football programs on performance from 1997-2006 and placed Texas Tech at number 32. Also, with 13, the Red Raiders rank fourth nationally in consecutive winning seasons, trailing only Florida State (30), Florida (19), and Virginia Tech (14).

Described as a program on the rise, the Red Raiders, coach by Mike Leach since 2000, earned 56 wins from the 2000 through the 2006 season. During the same period, only three other Big 12 teams had more victories—Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska. In each of its last thirteen seasons Tech has finished with a winning record, the fourth-longest such streak in the nation. The Red Raiders have made 32 bowl appearances, which is 19th most of any university.


Behind football and men's basketball, baseball is the third oldest sport at Texas Tech. The initial team organized in 1925 and the first game, an 18–9 victory over West Texas State Teachers Collegemarker, was played in 1926. In the following game, the team suffered its first ever loss, 14–9 to the team it had previously defeated. The third game in the team's history—this one against Daniel Baker College—ended in a 3–3 tie after 11 innings.

E. Y. Freeland was the first coach of the Red Raiders, though the team was known as the Matadors at the time. He remained in the position for three years before R. Grady Higginbotham took the role. Higginbotham coached for only two years. From 1930 to 1953, Tech did not field an intercollegiate baseball team. When the program returned in 1954, Beattie Feathers became the head coach of the Red Raiders and remained until 1960. He was followed by Berl Huffman (1961-1967), Kal Segrist (1968-1983), and Gary Ashby (1984-1986). Upon Ashby's departure, Larry Hays became the head coach of the team.Texas Tech's baseball team plays at Dan Law Fieldmarker and is coached by Dan Spencer. Larry Hays had been the Red Raider's head coach for the previous 22 years and accumulated over 800 wins with Texas Tech. On April 2, 2008, Hays became just the fourth coach in NCAA baseball history to win 1,500 career games. The Red Raider's first ever win came on April 5, 1926 against New Mexico Military Institutemarker. During the 1990s, Tech players drew notice from 17 big league organizations. Two Red Raiders were selected in the second round, one each in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds. As of 2002, 16 former Tech players have appeared in Major League Baseball.

Larry Hays took over the Red Raiders baseball team in 1987. Under Hays, Texas Tech endured only two losing seasons, his first and last, and enjoyed their greatest success in baseball. Hays took Tech from having a losing tradition to being a national contender. When Hays started with the Red Raiders, the team's overall record stood at 550–576. By the time he left, he was the fourth-winningest coach is college baseball history and the team's record had improved to 1,365–1,054–9. The Red Raiders reached eight straight NCAA tournaments from 1995-2002 and again in 2004, three of which were held at Dan Law Field. They also won two conference championships, in 1995 (while still in the Southwest Conference) and 1997, and two conference tournament championships, in 1996 and 1998.

Cross Country and Track & Field

Texas Tech's cross country and indoor/outdoor track & field teams are coached by Wes Kittley. Under his leadership, the program has reached new heights. At the 2005 Outdoor National Championships, Tech qualified 31 men's and women's athletes, more than any other school in the country.

From 1990 to 2006, the men's team garnered 91 All-America awards, 20 Big 12 championships, and one individual national title. In the same time period, the women's team won 32 All-America awards, 29 Big 12 championships, and five individual national titles. During the 2007/08 season, the women had another strong showing behind Sally Kipyego, who won four individual national titles (cross country, indoor 3000 m and 5000 m, outdoor 10,000 m) and placed second in her bid for an unprecedented fifth title in one academic year (outdoor 5000 m). Kipyego added three more nation titles (cross country, indoor 5000 m, outdoor 5000 m) and one more second-place win (outdoor 1500 m) during the 2007/08 season. Under Kipyego's leadership, the women's team captured its first title in 2008.


2007 saw the men's golf team compete in its first back-to-back National Championship tournaments since 1960. The team, coached by Greg Sands, qualified for the tournament after finishing 7th in NCAA Central Regional.


Tim Siegel has been coaching at Tech for 15 years, helping the men's tennis team to numerous winning seasons. Siegel was recently honored as the 2008 Big 12 Coach of the Year. He has coached players who are now college coaches themselves.

The men's tennis team had a very successful 2008 season being ranked as high as #17 in the nation. The Red Raiders have faced 11 ranked teams and have only lost to two, #31 TCUmarker and #11 Tulsamarker. Texas Tech ended the regular season ranked #17.

Club sports

In addition to varsity sports, the university's Sport Clubs Federation offers 30 recreational and competitive sport clubs, including polo, rugby union, lacrosse, fencing, and soccer.

Of the clubs sports, Tech's Polo Club team, coached by Clyde Waddell, has had the greatest success. In spite of having no previous experience, at the invitation of students, Waddell took the job in 2000. Six year later, the team beat in-state rival Texas A&M to win the United States Polo Association National Intercollegiate Championship.

Championship history

National championships

Women's Basketball
* 1993

Conference championships

Texas Tech has won 37 conference championships: 11 are Big 12 titles, and 17 are Southwest Conference titles. The other 9 are Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association football titles that Tech received as one of its members from 1932–1956.

*Regular Season: 1995, 1997
*Tournament: 1996, 1998

Men's Basketball
*Regular Season: 1961, 1962, 1973, 1985, 1995, 1996

*1937, 1942†, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1976†, 1994†

Men's Golf
*1959, 1971, 1996,

Men's Outdoor Track and Field

Women's Basketball
*Regular Season: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000
*Tournament: 1998, 1999

Women's Cross Country
*2008, 2009

Divisional championships


† Denotes shared title

Previous nickname

The Red Raiders were originally known as the "Matadors" from 1925–1936. As the school was thinking of an appropriate nickname for its athletic teams in 1925, the wife of the first football coach suggested "Matadors" to reflect the influence of the campus' Spanish Renaissance architecture. The students followed the suggestion, and later chose red and black as the school colors to represent a matador's traditional garb. Coincidentally, the football team won its first game right after it had adopted the name. The nickname and school colors became official during a formal convocation on March 15, 1926.

There are two main stories as to how the name "Red Raiders" replaced its predecessor. In one story, football coach Pete Cawthon ordered attractive scarlet uniforms to help the team's identity. The football team, wearing its new outfit, defeated heavily-favored Loyola Marymountmarker in Los Angeles on October 26, 1934. A Los Angeles sports writer called the Matadors a "red raiding team". Other writers who covered Tech sports caught on with the term and successfully promoted the use of "Red Raiders". In the other tale, former Lubbock Avalanche-Journal sports columnist Collier Parris, reporting on a 1932 Tech football game, wrote: "The Red Raiders from Texas Tech, terror of the Southwest this year, swooped into the New Mexico Universitymarker camp today." The name soon became popular afterward and by 1936, it officially replaced "Matadors" at the same time the Saddle Tramps came about.


Red Raider spirit is led by such organizations as the Saddle Tramps, the High Riders, and the Spirit Squads (consisting of the Cheer Team and the Pom Squad). In April 2007, the Texas Tech cheerleaders finished fifth at the National Cheerleading Association's Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship.


Texas Tech's main athletic rivals are the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies. It is common for people to camp out in front of Jones AT&T Stadiummarker a few days prior to home football games against the Aggies, the Longhorns, and the Oklahoma Sooners.

In March 2009, Texas Tech and Baylor reached an agreement to move their next two football games to the Dallas metropolitan area. The schools will play November 28, 2009, at Cowboys Stadiummarker in Arlingtonmarker and on October 9, 2010, at the Cotton Bowl Stadiummarker during the State Fair of Texas. There is also an option to extend the arrangement for an additional two years.

Head coaches

Head coaches of Texas Tech teams include:


Jones AT&T Stadiummarker serves as home to the Red Raiders football team. The stadium, named for Clifford B. and Audrey Jones, opened in 1947. In 2000, the stadium was renamed Jones SBC Stadium after SBC Communications made a $30 million contribution to the university. Following SBC Communications' acquisition of AT&T Corporation in 2006, the stadium was renamed Jones AT&T Stadium. The stadium's original seating capacity was 27,000, but it was expanded in 1959, 1972, and again in 2003 to the current capacity of 53,000. On August 7, 2008, the Texas Tech Board of Regents announced a $25 million expansion project. The planned expansion will add a Spanish Renaissance themed facade to the east side of the stadium. In addition to the improvements to the exterior of the facility, the expansion with add 1,000 general-admission seats, 550 club seats, and 26 suits. Texas Tech has allocated a total of $19 million to the expansion and plans to add another $6 million through fund-raising initiatives. Construction is set to begin following the 2008 season.

Since 1999, home basketball games have been played at United Spirit Arenamarker, a 15,020-seat multi-purpose facility which cost $62 million to build. In addition to serving as home to the men's and women's basketball teams, the arena is used by the Lady Raiders volleyball team.

  • Baseball – Dan Law Fieldmarker
  • Basketball – United Spirit Arenamarker
  • Equestrian – Tech Tech Equestrian Center
  • Football – Jones AT&T Stadiummarker
  • Golf – The Rawls Course
  • Ice Hockey – City Bank Coliseummarker
  • Rodeo – Texas Tech Equestrian Center/Dub Parks Memorial Arena
  • Soccer – John Walker Soccer Complex
  • Softball – Rocky Johnson Field
  • Tennis – Don & Ethel McLeod Tennis Center
  • Track and Field, Indoor – Athletic Training Center
  • Track and Field, Outdoor – R.P. Fuller Track and Soccer Field
  • Volleyball – United Spirit Arena

Notable athletes, coaches & athletics faculty

In the sports world, Texas Tech Red Raiders have gone on to play in the NFL, NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball, and more. Current alumni standouts include NFL All-Pros Zach Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs and Wes Welker of the New England Patriots, and Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers.


  1. TTU Identity Guidelines: Color
  2. The Red Raiders moved to fourth in 2008 when the Michigan Wolverines had a losing season.

External links

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