Selections from OSTX piece: Tedd Mitchell is making his case

“It’s a flattop with fenders,” barber Moe Hardin says. “He comes in about every two weeks in his boots and jeans. He talks with anybody and everybody, you’d hardly know he was a doctor or even a chancellor.”

It’s hard to know what to make of Tedd Mitchell initially, other than you like him.

He equally despises wearing a suit and long emails, he avoids spicy food because it makes him sweat, and he still holds swimming records from the late 1970s at Longview High School. He and wife Janet have a 600 square-foot treehouse (literally a house in a tree) on their ranch in his native East Texas that’s received national attention. “Instead of just adding on a room to our cabin, or adding on another little cabin, we decided to add a tree house,” he says.

Mitchell has spent his career practicing internal medicine, specializing in sports medicine. One of several contrasts to his predecessors is that he didn’t spend decades in elected office amassing political power like former Texas Tech chancellors John Montford, Kent Hance and Robert Duncan.

It’s widely believed lore that Hance, a Mitchell patient who recruited him to take over as president of the Health Sciences Center in 2010, could have the Texas Rangers at a foe’s house in 5 minutes flat. Given Mitchell’s sheer size— a barrel of a man, 6 foot 4 or 5 inches, depending on when he last saw Moe— one might prefer the Rangers show up instead of him. Lubbock retailers that did well selling “Our coach is better looking than yours” t-shirts during Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure should consider “Our chancellor could whip your chancellor” in the Mitchell era.

Read more in today’s AJ

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