Texas Tech turns to ex-star Krista Gerlich as new women's basketball coach

Texas Tech is hiring UT-Arlington coach Krista Gerlich, a former star for the Lady Raiders, as its new women's basketball coach, the school confirmed Tuesday.

She replaces Marlene Stollings, who was fired on Aug. 6 after a USA Today report alleged a culture of abuse in the Tech program.

As a player, Gerlich (then Krista Kirkland) played point guard alongside Sheryl Swoopes on Marsha Sharp's 1993 Texas Tech team that won a national championship. Gerlich left as the all-time assist leader in school history (now third), was named to the all-time All-Southwest Conference team and was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2003. She later became an assistant for Sharp.

"I can't put into words how excited I am to be entrusted with rebuilding the Lady Raider basketball program, which is near and dear to my heart," Gerlich said in a statement released by the school. "I can't wait to get to work on taking this program back to where it's supposed to be, where it has been and where everyone in the Texas Tech community expects it to be. I'm looking forward to meeting the current Lady Raiders, embracing them and their journey, and helping them write a better ending to their careers at Texas Tech, because they deserve it.

"I believe that Texas Tech is a pot of gold for every sport, and that's illustrated by how well each program succeeds on a national level year in and year out. There is no reason that Lady Raider basketball can't do that too, because we've already seen it done. We know we have the support, and I am looking forward to bringing that positive excitement and authentic love for the program back to my alma mater."

Gerlich is 289-147 in 14 years as a head coach at UT-Arlington and West Texas A&M. She took over at UTA in 2013 and went 4-25 in her first year, but was 45-19 in the past two seasons. She leaves UTA as the winningest women's basketball coach in school history with 121 wins.

At West Texas A&M, her teams won three consecutive Lone Star Conference championships from 2008 to '10.