Texas Tech began this Football Eve Friday with the announcement of a major stadium and facility construction project, and closes it with a lengthy contract extension for head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury has signed a seven-year contract extension, running through the 2020 season, the school has announced. The extension worth a minimum of $24.2 million and as much as $34.7 million, according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
Kingsbury is eligible for $1.5 million in bonuses per season, including $250,000 if he coaches a Heisman Trophy winner.
"This is where I want to be and I couldn't be happier," Kingsbury said. "I can't wait to take this thing to the next level."
Beginning this season, Kingsbury is set to average $3.5 million per season over the life of the deal. According to ESPN's Joe Schad, Kingsbury is set to earn $3.1 million in 2015 and $4.1 million by 2020. Seventeen coaches made at least $3.1 million in 2013 according to the USA Today Coaching Salary Database; Kingsbury ranked 53rd nationally at $1.855 million.
Following the initial news break, the common reaction by many national media members was something akin to this:
A few points to consider:
- A compelling argument can be made that Kingsbury was underpaid before this contract, and perhaps vastly so. Kingsbury's initial contract called for him to be the second-lowest paid Big 12 head coach, ahead of only Iowa State's Paul Rhoads. On top of that, Kingsbury's second-year salary was below what Tommy Tuberville earned in his second year in Lubbock. Who proved more valuable to Texas Tech through year one, Kliff or Tubs?
- A $3.1 million salary puts Kingsbury in the top 20 nationally in 2015, and a $4.1 million salary keeps Kingsbury in the top 20 nationally by 2020. Assuming Kingsbury remains at Texas Tech through the end of the decade, his contract is getting ripped up once if not twice by then.
- Finally, re-read the first sentence of this article. Texas Tech clearly has the wherewithal to make a major commitment to football. That doesn't happen without Kingsbury, and Tech needs him to stay in Lubbock to sustain this newfound momentum.
Kingsbury is 8-5 heading into his second season as Texas Tech's head coach. The Red Raiders open the 2014 season Saturday versus Central Arkansas (7 p.m. ET, FSN).