Texas Tech has been more than satisfied with the work done by Kirby Hocutt as athletics director, so they decided to give him a contract extension. On Monday, Texas Tech formally announced Hocutt had agreed to a two-year contract extension.
“I am sincerely appreciative of the continued trust and support from President Schovanec, Chancellor Mitchell and the Board of Regents,” Hocutt said in a released statement. “Texas Tech University and Lubbock have become home for my family and there is not a greater place. I look forward to continuing our work to elevate Texas Tech Athletics to the top echelon of college athletics.”
The contract extension comes with an adjusted salary as well. Hocutt will be given a raise to $1.5 million on an annual basis with a three percent increase each year beginning on Sept. 1, 2019. Hocutt’s new contract runs through Aug. 31, 2027.
The extension comes in an offseason that saw a change within the football program. Kliff Kingsbury was relieved of his position as head coach of the Red Raiders, which eventually led to Kingsbury to become the new head coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Hocutt hired Matt Wells away from Utah State to be the new head coach of the football program. Of course, Hocutt’s notable coaching hire for the men’s basketball program (Chris Beard) helped lead the Red Raiders to a national championship game appearance at the end of the most recent basketball season. If Campbell works out close to how Beard did for the men’s basketball program, the Red Raiders will be in excellent shape for years to come.
Hocutt also served three years on the College Football Playoff selection committee, where he also served two seasons as the committee’s chairperson. He just concluded his final season on the committee last season.
Before he makes his way to this week’s College Football Playoff selection committee meetings to determine the rankings he will be forced to defend publicly on Tuesday night, Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt met with the media in Lubbock to offer his public endorsement for head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
“We are moving forward with Kingsbury because it is the right thing for Texas Tech University,” Hocutt said during his press conference.Kingsbury may have saved his job with a 54-34 victory against Baylor in Arlington this weekend,
Kingsbury may have saved his job with a 54-34 victory against Baylor in Arlington this weekend, which snapped a three-game losing streak that included losses to Texas and Iowa State. At 5-7, Texas Tech’s season came to an end. This was the fourth season under Kingsbury as the head coach and the second losing season in that time (Kingsbury is 24-26 as a head coach). Texas Tech may have been able to pile up the number son offense, but defense has been lacking, to put it kindly, and it has gotten worse each season.
Yet, Kingsbury remains the head coach at Texas Tech. Year five will prove to be critical. Texas Tech has Kingsbury locked into a contract through 2020, but it will be time to start seeing a return on the investment that is paying Kingsbury over $3.1 million each year with $200,000 raises each successive season up to $4.1 million.
“I believed in Kliff Kingsbury when we hired him in December of 2012,” Hocutt said. “I believe in him today. I look forward to future success under his leadership as we move forward”
The scope of the national coaching search may have been a disadvantage for Texas Tech as well with Texas already making a change and openings at Houston and Baylor currently open, not to mention other pending changes to come. If Texas Tech scuffles next year, could the Red Raiders hit the open market to see what they can do? Time will tell, but the 2017 season should be one with a very warm seat for Kingsbury.
Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt is taking over as the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee this year. Although his term on the selection committee is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2016 season, a clause in the selection committee protocol could lead to a one-year extension for Hocutt, according to a report from Heather Dinich of ESPN.com.
“Members will not be eligible for re-appointment, but a member’s term may be extended one year if the member would serve as chair in what otherwise would be his/her final year,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN.com. This being Hocutt’s final year on his term qualifies Hocutt for the one-year extension, which would allow him to fill that role again in 2017. Selection committee members typically serve three-year contracts, which means the bulk of the selection committee is entering their final year on their respective contracts, but Hocutt was not a founding selection committee member. This will be just his second season on the committee.
Hocutt fills the vacancy on the committee left by West Virginia’s Oliver Luck and succeeds Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, who served as the chair of the selection committee for the first two seasons of the College Football Playoff. In addition to being the top head of the selection committee, the chair must also be the public face of the committee. Long had appeared on the weekly rankings show aired by ESPN to answer questions about the most recent rankings and attempt to shed some light on the logic behind the rankings as discussed by the selection committee. It was a job that came with plenty of criticism, although this was not always the direct fault of Long the past two years. He was just there to take the brunt of the attacks from critics, as any chairperson might.
There is no deadline for the College Football Playoff and selection committee to decide the fate of Hocutt’s term, although Hancock notes the discussion will be held later this year. There is no real rush to make a final judgement either. This is a decision that could even linger into the 2017 calendar year, although it would be expected to be cemented in place before the start of the 2017 college football season and could come much earlier than that. The future of other selection committee members with expiring contracts — Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, Bobby Johnson and Condoleezza Rice — remains unknown at this time as well.
Again, there is plenty of time to piece together the 2017 College Football Playoff selection committee, so don’t expect much clarity on the situation in the near future.
Next week the SEC will open up the football media day circuit with the start of SEC Media Days in Alabama. The Big 12 will get in on the fun the following week, and you might as well prepare for more discussion about whether or not the Big 12 will or should expand its membership. Oklahoma president David Boren recently lit a fire on the discussion by suggesting the Big 12 is psychologically disadvantaged in the new age of college sports. Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt did not exactly slam the door shut on expansion during a radio interview this week, but he did seem to plant a foot on the side against expansion.
“There’s a process that is led by [Big 12 commissioner] Bob Bowlsby, who I think is one of the best leaders in college athletics, as well as our president, and I know that we will continue to look at the landscape and be as strategic and proactive as we possibly can be,” Hocutt said, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News. That is a very safe way of suggesting Hocutt is not actively pushing for expansion, but instead would be intrigued by the possibility if it seems to make sense for Texas Tech and the rest of the Big 12.
“We are financially stable, we’re competitively challenged,” Hocutt said. The Big 12 certainly can afford to remain at 10 members with the record revenue coming in this past year, thanks in part to the launch of the College Football Playoff and the money that came with it. But last season the Big 12 saw both Baylor and TCU, co-champions of the conference with one loss each, shut out of the playoff. The omission of Baylor and TCU in favor of Big Ten champion Ohio State sparked some in and around the Big 12 to push for expansion to regain a conference championship game.
Hocutt’s statements suggested the Big 12 would be unwise to not think about possible expansion moves that could benefit the conference in the future. The stability of any conference is dependant on leadership having not just a one or five-year plan, but a 10-year and a 25-year vision for the conference, so Hocutt’s idea the Big 12 should always be on the lookout for what’s best for the conference is solid advice.
Nike may still be the top name in the business when it comes to college football uniforms, but Under Armour and Adidas are doing all they can to be in the game as well. Under Armour will continue to supply apparel to Texas Tech for six more years after the university and company agreed on a six-year contract extension.
In a released statement issued by Texas Tech Tuesday, Texas Tech says the new agreement runs through June 30, 2020. Under Armour will provide and design shoes, apparel and equipment for training and game-day uniforms for the Red Raiders football program and other sports.
“Under Armour has been a tremendous partner with Texas Tech Athletics and we look forward to extending that relationship,” Texas Tech Director of Athletics (and recently appointed College Football Playoff selection committee member) Kirby Hocutt said in a released statement. “Under Armour is one of the most innovative brands around the world and our student-athletes really enjoy the products they deliver to our teams. We sincerely appreciate all the attention and visibility that Under Armour has provided for our athletics program.”
Under Armour has tried a number of different looks for Texas Tech, and there have been some hits and some misses. Expect Under Armour to continue to tinker with the look on a regular basis, because diversity appears to be a trend for Under Armour’s not-so-nationally prominent partners (compared to Notre Dame and Auburn). My free advice to Under Armour and Texas Tech, in case anyone is reading? Stay away from alternate gray. That stuff is just terrible.
Under Armour also provides football uniforms for Auburn, Maryland, Notre Dame, Navy and South Carolina.