Texas Tech locks Beard into new deal with higher buyout for Big 12


LUBBOCK (KXAN/AP) — After a run to the school’s first national championship game, Texas Tech is paying coach Chris Beard more and making it harder for other schools to lure him away.

Beard, the AP national coach of the year, got a new contract Monday that will pay him an average of $4.575 million annually through the 2024-25 season.

“In only three years, Chris Beard has elevated Texas Tech to the upper echelon of college basketball,” athletic director Kirby Hocutt said. “The 2018 Elite Eight, and this year’s appearance in the national championship game has raised the entire profile of Texas Tech athletics and is a source of great pride for all Red Raiders.”

The deal came three weeks after the Big 12 co-champions lost in overtime to Virginia in the national title game. In 2018, Beard led Texas Tech to the Elite Eight where the Red Raiders lost to eventual national champion, Villanova.

Beard’s buyout details will make it difficult for any Big 12/Texas school to steal him away — at least for the next couple years. Beard’s buyout starts at $6 million next season and decreases by $1 million in subsequent years for any school looking to hire him from Texas or in the Big 12.

The NBA or a program from outside the Big 12 and Texas would have to pay half of the buyout number.

Beard has a 76-31 record in three seasons with the Red Raiders. He thanked school leaders, former and current players and staffs, and students and fans for their commitment to the program.

“Together we have accomplished some great things in the past three years but we are not satisfied and will continue working tirelessly to build one of the best college basketball programs in the nation,” Beard said.

With Big 12 player of the year Jarrett Culver’s recent decision to declare for the NBA draft, junior guard Davide Moretti will be the only one of Tech’s top five scorers returning next season. Also gone with Culver, the 6-foot-6 sophomore guard from Lubbock, will be seniors Brandone Francis, Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens.

Mooney and Owens were graduate transfers to the program last year after the Elite Eight run, when All-Big 12 guard Keenan Evans was among five seniors gone and high-soaring freshman forward Zhaire Smith left early for the NBA draft.

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