Tarleton State basketball coach Gillispie taking indefinite medical leave

Tarleton State men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie will be away from the team indefinitely because of medical circumstances, the school announced Tuesday night.

Gillispie missed the team's trip to the SoCal Challenge last week, with assistant coach Joseph Jones taking over the interim head-coaching duties. Jones will continue in his role until Gillispie's return.

Gillispie has battled health issues previously in his coaching career, resigning from Texas Tech in 2012 while citing health problems. He was hospitalized before his resignation, telling the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal at the time that he experienced something that felt like "a stroke or heart attack."

In 2017, he was diagnosed with kidney failure and needed a kidney transplant.

Gillispie was named Tarleton State's coach back in 2020 after five seasons at Ranger College, a junior college in Texas where Gillispie played two seasons. In addition to Texas Tech, he had previously spent time as coach at Kentucky, Texas A&M and UTEP.

Tarleton State is off to a 4-2 start after beating Austin Peay and Cal State Bakersfield at the SoCal Challenge before Thanksgiving. The Texans head to Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday night.