Chris Beard Essentially Took a Pay Cut to Go to Austin
It was never about the money. Chris Beard said as much in his introductory press conference Friday morning at the University of Texas.
It wasn't about going home, and he didn't mention any momma calling him home. It's all about winning, or as Beard put it: "I don't coach for money. I coach to win."
OK, Chris -- weren't you winning at Texas Tech?
If he's being truthful, it's obvious Beard thinks he can win more at Texas.
Is the money thing really true, though?
According to Horns247, Chris Beard's new contract proves that it is. Beard's reported deal is a seven-year, $35 million contract. Longhorns reporter Taylor Estes called it the most lucrative deal in Longhorns basketball history.
The contract starts at a base salary of $5 million across all seven seasons. At first glance, that's a $600,000 raise for Beard, who was scheduled to make $4.4 million at Texas Tech in base salary in 2021-22.
It's technically a raise, sure, but Chris Beard made just shy of $4.9 million in 2021. If given the chance, Beard's new Longhorns contract would have been matched by the Texas Tech brass. Texas Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt and the school's president Dr. Lawrence Schovanec have both said as much in various outlets this week in response to the news of Beard's departure.
Not only is that $5 million mark symbolic for the pious Longhorns because it's .1 better than Texas Tech, it's also just short of head football coach Steve Sarkisian's base salary -- because UT is still a football school, dammit. Sarkisian's base in 2021 is $5.2 million.
If the money was going to be similar, it doesn't seem like that decision was very hard for Beard to make, but that's not what he said this morning, calling leaving Texas Tech "the most difficult decision of my life." Texas Tech fans didn't take kindly to that.
Beard's overall presser was great for Longhorns fans who have been waiting for a fearless leader, and brutal for Texas Tech fans who have zero trust left for the man who sold them on completing a race before leaving at the third turn.
The former Red Raiders coach twisted that knife further, saying: "That's how we won at Texas Tech, and that's how we'll win here."