RedRaiderSports - Inside Tech's five-year deal with Chris Beard
basketball Edit

Inside Tech's five-year deal with Chris Beard

Chris Beard recently agreed to a five-year deal to become the new men's basketball coach at Texas Tech. His contract was obtained through an open records request under the Texas Public Information Act.

Beard’s agreement with Tech, which includes signatures from Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt and interim president John Opperman, is a worth a base salary of $286,905 in the first year and $300,000 for the final four seasons.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard during his introductory conference at United Supermarkets Arena
Texas Tech coach Chris Beard during his introductory conference at United Supermarkets Arena

Tech’s contract with its new coach lists several incentives, including a bonus for achieving a team GPA of at least 2.65 or better.

One of Beard’s primary concerns beyond the basketball court is to ensure each player excels in the classroom. Beard discussed his graduation rate during an introduction at United Supermarkets Arena, even challenging one of his former players to return and finish his degree plan with Tech.

“I’m very proud of my graduation rate over the years, graduating every player that played for us here at Texas Tech except for Jay Jackson,” said Beard during his introductory press conference. “Jay, you’re listening, you’ve gotta come home soon and get that degree.”

The Red Raiders’ academic performance rating presents another potential bonus for making positive strides in the classroom.

According to the NCAA’s website, ‘APR holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student athlete for each academic term.’

Anything above a 950 carries a bonus of at least $25,000 while reaching a 970 or better brings a $50,000 bonus for Tech’s coach.

“Coach shall not be entitled to receive the foregoing Supplemental Compensation if Coach terminates this Agreement prior to the Men’s Basketball Team’s achievements,” Beard’s contract stipulates. “Further, Coach shall not receive the foregoing Supplemental Compensation in any year in which the Men’s Basketball Team is either ineligible for postseason competition for a failure to earn the minimum Academic Performance Rate under the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program.”

The NCAA recently released APR data for institutions from the 2014-2015 season.

Tech’s men’s basketball program earned a 948, ahead of only TCU in the Big 12 conference. The Red Raiders showed drastic improvement from their totals in the previous two seasons – a 935 during their 2013-2014 run and a 936 three seasons ago.

According to the NCAA, teams must maintain a four-year average APR of 930 to compete in championship play beginning with data from last season.

Supplemental compensation is not limited to the Red Raiders’ APR and team GPA. Beard’s contract also includes bonuses for many in-season milestones including a top-three finish in Big 12 regular season play worth up to $425,000.

Beard also will receive amounts of at least $1 million for ‘rights to Coach’s Outside Athletics Related Income,’ beginning with $1,051,984 next season, rising to $1.5 million in 2021.

Rights fees for Beard include but are not limited to apparel contracts, television coaches shows, speaking engagements arranged through Tech and merchandising contracts, according to documents obtained under the Texas Public Information Act.

Tech’s Director of Athletics will conduct an annual review of the coach’s performance no later than 30 days after the end of the Red Raiders’ basketball season, according to Beard’s contract, which will determine any potential extensions or adjustments in salary.

In the event that Tech elects to terminate its contract without cause, the University will pay ‘liquidated damages to Coach in an amount equal to $625,000,’ according to Beard’s contract.

Tech’s coach is responsible for hiring and terminating the coaching and support staff and also for scheduling all non-conference games before receiving final approval from Hocutt, according to the contract.

After landing what Beard describes as his ‘dream job’, it appears the Red Raiders have identified a long-term coaching solution moving forward.

“One person that I’ve always admired and studied over the years was the legendary coach Bear Bryant,” Beard said. “[my situation is] like when Bear Bryant left Texas A&M in his career to go to Alabama. People asked, ‘why is this the move coach?’ and he said, ‘when mama calls, you’ve gotta go home.’

“Texas Tech is my mama and I’m home and I’m so glad to be here.”