Texas Tech's Beard agrees to 6-year extension

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard agreed Monday to a new contract that will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball.

Beard signed a six-year contract that will pay him $4.575 million annually, keeping him under contract through the 2024-25 season. His annual salary is now the fourth highest in the country, behind Kentucky's John Calipari, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Tennessee's Rick Barnes, according to USA Today's coaching salary database.

"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 in a 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."

Beard was named AP National Coach of the Year this past season after leading Texas Tech to the NCAA championship game, where it lost to Virginia. The Red Raiders won a share of the Big 12 regular-season title before making the program's first Final Four appearance. That run came on the heels of Tech's Elite Eight appearance in 2018.

Since the Red Raiders went 18-14 in Beard's first season in Lubbock, they have gone 58-17 overall and 8-2 in the NCAA tournament.

"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, 46, had been mentioned briefly in connection with multiple coaching vacancies this spring, but he didn't show much interest in leaving Lubbock. Beard spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach under Bob Knight at Texas Tech from 2001 to '11 and returned as the head coach in 2016.