Report: Texas Tech settles ex-women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings' lawsuit for $740K

Texas Tech paid former women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings approximately $740,000 in settling a lawsuit she filed after being fired by the school in 2020, according to a USA Today report. The newspaper obtained the settlement information through a public records request.

The lawsuit was settled earlier this month, as Stollings alleged discrimination and retaliation against the school and athletic director Kirby Hocutt. On Aug. 6, 2020, Hocutt fired Stollings, a day after a USA Today report alleged that Stollings had created a toxic and abusive culture within the Texas Tech program. She was 32-28 in two seasons at Texas Tech and had four years remaining on her contract when she was fired.

Twelve players left Texas Tech during Stollings' time as coach there -- eight after her first season and four after the second. Stollings told ESPN in 2020 that in taking over a program that went 7-23 overall and 1-17 in the Big 12 in 2017-18, she needed to make massive changes. She said Texas Tech's administration was "very clear on what the program was lacking" when she came in.

Stollings also told ESPN that there was nothing in the 2020 USA Today article that was previously unknown to Hocutt. He had told USA Today that the school had taken "appropriate steps to improve the relationship and communication between coaches and student-athletes" and indicated Stollings would stay in her position.

Stollings said Hocutt continued to assure her of that even after the article's publication, and that she was shocked when he did an about-face a few hours later. Stollings -- who previously was head coach at Winthrop, VCU and Minnesota -- told ESPN she had provided a school-approved statement to USA Today for its article, but felt she didn't do enough to defend herself.

In her subsequent lawsuit, filed in October 2020, Stollings alleged there was unequal treatment of coaches based on their gender and sexuality. She also alleged that internal reviews at the school had cleared her of the allegations raised in the USA Today report.

Stollings, now 47, told ESPN that her aim with the lawsuit was to clear her name, and that she hoped she could return to coaching.

Last week, Texas Tech extended Hocutt's contract as athletic director through 2030.