The future of the Texas Tech baseball program is secure under Tim Tadlock.
After losing Chris Beard to the rival Longhorns, the worst thing that could have happened to Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt’s job security would be for him to lose his star baseball coach too. Rumors began swirling over the weekend that Texas A&M would make a play for Tim Tadlock to fill its recently vacated coaching job, but instead the most beloved coach at Texas Tech is staying put.
Tadlock has agreed to a new rolling seven-year contract, which has been described by Hocutt as a “lifetime contract” intended to keep the 52-year-old coach at Texas Tech for the rest of his career. This is similar to the proposal Hocutt offered to Beard several months ago. The difference, of course, is only one of those coaches was even interested in such an arrangement.
A&M did come calling and reportedly offered Tadlock a contract that would have paid him around $1.2 million a year to start, and Hocutt is at least going to match that. As of 2019, Tadlock was earning around $1 million in base salary a year, which had him as one of at least nine college baseball coaches to make that much.
At that time, the only coach known to make more than $1.2 million was Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin. So is certainly looks like Tadlock will be at least in the top five on the list of highest-paid college baseball coaches, if not the top three. Rice University’s job just came open as well, so that’s another potential suitor Hocutt has fended off with this extension.
Investing in the Program
Tadlock has been wildly successful since taking over prior to the 2013 season. He’s taken the team to four of the past six College World Series and has won or shared three Big 12 regular season titles. He’s also in the midst of what could be described as his best coaching job yet, navigating a slew of injuries and the ongoing pandemic to have Texas Tech in position for another run to Omaha.
The extension news also comes on the heels of Texas Tech announcing $12.5 million of upgrades to the baseball facilities, which will include a renovated and expanded locker room and indoor training facility as well as a team lounge. Tadlock and his staff will also get new office space and their own locker room as part of the upgrades.
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Texas Tech has invested heavily in facilities for football and basketball but has fallen behind in baseball, which makes Tadlock’s success all the more impressive. Considering the baseball program has had the most consistent success over the past decade, there’s no reason not to spend money on it.
This isn’t just a response to A&M’s overtures either, as such a project couldn’t be announced on a whim. This is something the athletic department has been planning to do once it finished with the new Dustin R. Womble Basketball Center, which officially opened earlier this month. Baseball has certainly waited its turn, and now the university is finally addressing some glaring needs.
With Tadlock’s future secured and the facility upgrades coming, there’s no reason Texas Tech can’t remain one of the country’s most successful baseball programs. Hopefully one day soon, the Red Raiders will reach the pinnacle and bring a national championship back home to Lubbock.