LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – The following is a news release from Texas Tech Athletics:
Texas Tech head basketball coach Chris Beard has signed a new six-year contract through the 2024-25 season. The contract will average $4.575 million annually, making him one of the top paid basketball coaches in the nation after he guided the Red Raiders to the NCAA National Championship final this season and the Elite Eight last year.
“Thank you to President Schovanec, Kirby Hocutt, Tony Hernandez, Chancellor Mitchell and the Board of Regents for making this strong commitment to both me and our men’s basketball program,” Beard said. “Thank you to our players and staff, both former and current, for your commitment to winning. Special thanks to our fans and our students for your incredible support and passion. 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 has a 76-31 overall record as the program’s head coach, including a National Runner-Up finish in this year’s NCAA tournament, a 14-4 conference record to win the program’s first Big 12 Conference regular-season championship and a 31-7 record in 2018-19 season for the winningest season in program history.
“In only three years, Chris Beard has elevated Texas Tech to the upper echelon of college basketball,” Director of Athletics 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. I am appreciative of the continued loyalty and personal commitment that Chris has made to continue to lead our program into the future. He is widely respected as one of the best coaches in the nation and I could not be more excited that through various resources, we have been able to invest into our basketball program at one of the highest levels in the nation.”
Beard was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year and earned Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year honors for his role in continuing the success of the program that replaced five seniors and Zhaire Smith who was selected in the NBA Draft after his freshman season. The Red Raiders, who were picked seventh in the Big 12 Conference Preseason Poll and were unranked to begin the season, followed their first Elite Eight appearance with a season that also included going 17-1 at home to take Beard’s three-year record to 50-5 at the United Supermarkets Arena.
“What Coach Beard, his staff and the student-athletes have accomplished are not only historical moments in the University’s history, but also tremendous sources of pride for the Texas Tech University, Lubbock and all Red Raiders,” Schovanec said. “I appreciate Kirby Hocutt’s leadership throughout this process and enthusiastically support his vision to ensure Chris is a Red Raider for many years to come.”
Tech’s National Championship game appearance came with wins over Michigan State in the Final Four, an Elite Eight victory against Gonzaga for the NCAA West Region Championship, a Sweet 16 win over Michigan and opening round wins over Buffalo and Northern Kentucky in the most historic run in program history. Beard has now led the Red Raiders to an 8-2 record in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. Tech led the nation in defensive efficiency, was second by limiting teams to only 37.0 percent shooting and was third by holding opponents to 59.5 points per game. The Red Raiders won 23 games by double digits and finished the regular season on a nine-game winning streak that was capped by an 80-73 win at Iowa State to secure a share of the Big 12 Conference regular-season title.
In four seasons as a Division I head coach, Beard is 106-36 including going 30-5 at Little Rock in the 2015-16 before being named the head coach at Tech on April 15, 2016. The Red Raiders have seen a significant increase in season ticket sales under Beard, and the program’s average attendance surged to over 10,000 fans per game in 2017-18 for the first time dating back to 2006-07. Tech averaged 12,098 fans per home game this season including four sellouts at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders led the nation in defensive efficiency throughout the season and was second by limiting opponents to 37.0 percent shooting and third by holding teams to only 59.5 points per game. The 31 wins broke the previous school record of 30 in the 1995-96 season.
(News release from Texas Tech Athletics)