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Gillispie is new UK coach

The man credited with the total reconstruction of two college basketball programs will now be asked to pilot the game's most storied program back onto its championship course.
The University of Kentucky has scheduled a pep rally at 12:15 and a press conference at 12:45 to announce Billy Gillispie as its new basketball coach.
Fans are encouraged to come out and welcome the new coach. The ensuing press conference will be televised live to all fans in Memorial Coliseum wishing to view the event. Doors open at 11 a.m. and admission is free.
A press conference announcing the new coach will follow at 12:45 p.m. on the men's practice floor in the Joe Craft Center. The press conference is open to media, athletics board members, board of trustees, and former UK basketball players.
Gillispie was tabbed by Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart as the man to replace Tubby Smith. Barnhart sought and received permission to speak with Gillispie on Thursday. The deal was finalized Friday.
Gillispie will bring to Lexington an impressive resume for building something from nothing. At Texas-El Paso, the coach improved a team from 6-24 to 24-8 the very next season. During his first season at Texas A&M in 2005, Gillispie inherited a 7-21 team that finished 21-10.
This past season, Texas A&M finished 22-9 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Ironically, his last victory this season was an NCAA Tournament win over Louisville at Lexington's Rupp Arena. He is 67-25 in his last three seasons, including a 49-6 mark in home games.
At Kentucky, Gillispie will inherit a program that has lost 25 games the past two seasons and bowed out of NCAA play the first week as a No. 8 seed. In conference play, the Cats fourth-place finish in the SEC East was its worst in years.
Gillispie's name has been near the top of UK's perceived wish list since the day Smith resigned. But infatuation began to build significantly in early April after Gillispie balked at signing a new contract extension with Texas A&M despite a very public announcement of the deal by the university.
His old contract contained a base salary of $500,000 and his supplemental income that gave him $1.2 million a year. It also included a $1 million bonus if he fulfilled the life of the contract which was set to expire in March 2012.
The new contract announced March 30 also stipulated a base salary of $500,000 but with supplemental income that moved Gillispie's yearly total to $1.75 million and extends the contract three years to the end of March 2015. He would still receive the $1 million bonus if he fulfilled the contract to 2012, but would also receive an additional $750,000 if he fulfilled the new contract to 2015. These figures excluded any incentives for postseason or championship play.
Gillispie, 47, is a native of Graford, Texas, and is regarded as a tireless recruiter whose classes have been among the top 15 the past three years. He has spent most of his high school and college coaching career in the Lone Star State. A notable stint outside Texas were the years he served as an assistant to current Kansas head coach Bill Self during his time at Tulsa and Illinois.
A 1983 graduate of Southwest Texas State, Gillispie got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 1982-85.
One amazing tidbit is that Gillispie's very first head coaching job was at Copperas Cove High School in Texas. His athletics director was none other than Hal Mumme, the former UK football coach.