In the season just completed, A&M went 27-7 overall and 13-3 in the Big 12, reaching the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 for the first time since 1980, beating Penn and Louisville in Lexington before losing to Memphis.
After spending several years in the high school and junior college ranks, Gillispie got his first job as a college head coach at UTEP in 2002.
The Miners went 6-24 in his first season, then finished 24-8 and reached the NCAA tournament in 2004 in a remarkable 18-win turnaround that ranks among the best history. Gillispie was a finalist for national coach of the year honors.
That UTEP team won the Western Athletic Conference title after being picked to finish ninth, and the Miners even won an exhibition game against the Harlem Globetrotters to end the Globetrotters' 288-game winning streak.
Gillispie's first recruiting class at UTEP featured two junior college All-Americans and earned a top-25 ranking, and he signed three straight top-25 recruiting classes at A&M.
Prior to being hired at UTEP, Gillispie spent eight years as an assistant coach at Baylor, Tulsa and Illinois. He was on Bill Self's staffs at Tulsa from 1997-2000 and at Illinois from 2000-02. Self is now the coach at Kansas.
He helped recruit a top-10 class at Illinois in 2002 that included All-American Dee Brown.
Gillispie was born in Abilene, Texas, on Nov. 7, 1959, and raised in Graford, Texas, a town of 578 people about 65 miles northwest of Fort Worth.
A 1983 graduate of Southwest Texas State (now Texas State), he worked at his alma mater as a graduate assistant from 1982-85.
After two years as an assistant coach at the high school level, he was head coach at three Texas high schools from 1987-93.
At the first of those three stops, Copperas Cove High School, his athletic director was Hal Mumme, the former Kentucky football coach now at New Mexico State.
He spent the 1993-94 season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at South Plains (Texas) Junior College before joining the Baylor staff.
* Born Nov. 7, 1959, Abilene, Texas.
* Attended Ranger (Texas) Junior College, Sam Houston State and Southwest Texas State, where he graduated in 1983.
1982-85: Southwest Texas State, graduate assistant
1985-87: Killeen (Texas) HS, assistant coach
1987-88: Copperas Cove (Texas) HS, head coach
1988-90: New Braunfels (Texas) Canyon HS, head coach
1990-93: Killeen (Texas) Ellison HS, head coach
1993-94: South Plains (Texas) JC, assistant coach/recruiting coordinator
1994-97: Baylor, assistant coach/recruiting coordinator
1997-2000: Tulsa, assistant coach
2000-02: Illinois, assistant coach/recruiting coordinator
2002-04: UTEP, head coach
2004-07: Texas A&M, head coach
Year-by-Year Collegiate Record
2002-03 UTEP 3-15 6-24
2003-04x-UTEP 13-5 24-8
2004-05y-Texas A&M 8-8 21-10
2005-06x-Texas A&M 10-6 22-9
2006-07x-Texas A&M 13-3 27-7
y-National Invitation Tournament