Lubbock and Texas Tech Never Had a Chance to Keep Chris Beard
I told Chrissy the other day, "that guy is gone."
I knew Chris Beard was headed for Texas, and I based my guess on the oddest thing. Beard was recently at a comedy show in Lubbock and was hanging out backstage with the artists. He was sipping on a mixed drink and living large. These are the hallmarks of someone who is a bit more urbane and living large. I know you don't understand this, but Lubbock is not much of a cultural center while you can do this kind of thing any night of the week in Austin.
I know many of you are concerned about a coach right now, but ask yourself this: how is it that we have 40,000 college students in town every year and none of them stay? How is it that kids that grow up in Lubbock tend to move off to Dallas or Austin? Make no mistake, Lubbock is growing, but that growth is propelled by people from the smaller surrounding towns coming here. We have a serious brain drain here in the Hub City due to a lack of opportunity and quality of life issues.
The problem lies in the fact that Lubbock really is more of a town than a city. Myself, I'm perfectly fine with that, but it's always going to be a struggle to attract and keep talent here. I'm actually amazed that we can convince any 18-year-old kid that Lubbock is a launching point for his future.
So what can be done to change this? Start making Lubbock a more attractive place for these people to live. We need more green spaces, more public events, more attractions and more culture. We also need to knock off the dumb stuff, like this idiotic vote coming up. (Sorry, even if you believe it's well-meaning, it makes us seem like a bunch of backward rubes.)
So back to Beard. His recruiting just got way easier. His social life just got way better. His pockets just got much fuller. He obviously has friends in the area and access to an airport that has a bunch more options. He left our town and moved up to the city. He can enjoy his money and recruit kids to a city with more opportunities for them as well.
Simply put, Lubbock has no glamour. Most of us are fine with that, but we'll never attract and retain the biggest talent until we give them a reason to stay here.