LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech coach Chris Beard was rewarded Monday with a new $19 million contract after leading the Red Raiders to 23 wins in the regular season and their best finish in the Big 12 Conference.
The No. 14 Red Raiders (23-8) go into this week’s Big 12 tournament as the No. 2 seed.
“Coach Beard continues to elevate Texas Tech basketball to a record level of success,” athletic director Kirby Hocutt said. “Under his leadership, our program is going to continue to elevate to an elite level. I am extremely proud of the direction of his program and know that Red Raider Nation joins me in our level of excitement for the future.”
The 23 wins already match the most for the Red Raiders since they were 30-2 and made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1995-96, the final season of the Southwest Conference.
<a target=”—blank” href=”https://apnews.com/72c222eb198647228205eda23ea149f8/Beard%27s-back-at-Texas-Tech,-in-top-10-and-near-Big-12-lead”>Beard spent a decade as an assistant coach at Texas Tech</a> for the Knights, first Bobby and then Pat, until the younger Knight was fired after the 2010-11 season.
After that, Beard was a head coach for one season in the semipro American Basketball Association before stops at two lower-division schools in Texas and a 30-win season at Arkansas-Little Rock two years ago. He then agreed to a five-year contract to become UNLV’s coach, but returned to Texas Tech after Tubby Smith unexpectedly left for Memphis.
Beard has a 41-22 record in his two seasons at Texas Tech, and is 71-27 in his 98 games as a Division I coach. The new deal replaces the five-year contract Beard initially got from Texas Tech through the 2020-21 season.
Texas Tech has been ranked in the top 10 six times this season, and its No. 6 ranking in mid-February was the highest in program history. The Red Raiders play their Big 12 tournament opener Thursday night in Kansas City against Texas or Iowa State.
More AP college basketball: <a target=”—blank” href=”http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org”>www.collegebasketball.ap.org</a> and <a target=”—blank” href=”https://twitter.com/AP%E2%80%94Top25″>https://twitter.com/AP—Top25</a>