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Texas Tech locks up Chris Beard to long-term contract

Texas Tech v Michigan State

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 06: Head coach Chris Beard of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2019 NCAA Final Four semifinal at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 6, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Texas Tech and head coach Chris Beard have agreed to a six-year contract extension worth more than $27 million, the school announced on Monday.

At more than $4.5 million annually, Beard is now one of the highest-paid coaches in college hoops, which makes sense as he is one of the very best coaches in the business. He earned the new deal after leading Texas Tech to the 2019 national title game, one year removed from taking the program to their first Elite Eight in 2018.

“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 via statement. “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.”

“In only three years, Chris Beard has elevated Texas Tech to the upper echelon of college basketball,” athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a statement. “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 AP National Coach of the Year this season, and while he was linked with a number of high profile job openings -- namely UCLA -- he never really showed much interest in taking those jobs. There are really two potential openings that people seem to be worried about. One of them is Arizona, and at this point, it does not look like the Wildcats are going to be forced to move on from Sean Miller. The other is Texas, the school which Beard graduated from. According to a report from the Dallas Morning News, Beard’s buyout after this season is $3 million for a school outside the Big 12 and $6 million for a conference foe. That number is affordable for Texas if they opt to move on from Shaka Smart.

Whether or not Beard would take Texas over Texas Tech is a different conversation, one for a different day. But $6 million is certainly with in Texas’ price range if they decide they really, really want Beard.