BREAKING: Billy Gillispie Retires; Cites Health Concerns

TAMPA, FL – MARCH 13: Head coach Billie Gillispie of the Kentucky Wildcats argues a call with a referee during the game against the Louisiana State University Tigers during the second round of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 13, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

RANGER, Texas — Former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie says he is retiring, citing health concerns as he steps aside as coach at a Texas junior college.

The 57-year-old Gillispie said in a text message to The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that he’s been battling high blood pressure since the summer. The former Texas A&M and Texas Tech coach said he is following the advice of doctors by leaving early in his second season at Ranger College.

Gillispie was a rising star in the coaching profession after quick rebuilding jobs at UTEP and Texas A&M, leading to the Kentucky job in 2007.

He was fired after two seasons with the Wildcats before taking the Texas Tech job following a two-year hiatus.

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