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It looks like Jeff Traylor won’t be Texas Tech’s next head coach.
Traylor and the University of Texas at San Antonio agreed to a $28 million contract extension on Sunday that runs through the 2031 season. Traylor has led UTSA to a perfect 8-0 start this season and to No. 16 in the latest AP Top 25 poll.
"[UTSA] proactively engaged me on an extension discussion at the start of the season, and my staff and I are thrilled about what the future holds for this program,” Traylor said in a statement. “I say this all the time, but this game is about the players and they are the reason we are in this profession to begin with. This is exactly why we have chosen to make this announcement today. We should all be talking about what they have accomplished this season, they are making history every week."
Jeff Traylor was frontrunner for Texas Tech job
Texas Tech fired coach Matt Wells on Monday following their one-point loss to Kansas State — where the Red Raiders blew a 24-10 halftime lead.
Wells was in the middle of his third season in Lubbock, and had compiled a 13-17 overall record with a 7-16 record in conference play. Offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie was named the team’s interim coach through the end of the season.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, Traylor was instantly one of two frontrunners to take over at Texas Tech — and it’s easy to see why.
Traylor was a longtime high school coach in the state before working as an assistant at Texas, SMU and Arkansas. He is currently in his second season with the Roadrunners, and has led them to a perfect 8-0 start and its first ranking in the AP Top 25 poll in school history.
Yet with his new contract extension, which the school said will pay him an average of $2.8 million a season, a jump to the Big 12 is now out of the question for Traylor — at least for now.
"Jeff saw something special at UTSA when he first expressed interest in this job and we likewise knew we had someone special when we hired him to take over our program," UTSA vice president for athletics Lisa Campos said in a statement. “He is an outstanding leader, a culture builder and a molder of young men. He has brought unprecedented national exposure and acclaim to both our institution and the San Antonio community.
“He's taken UTSA Football to new heights in a short amount of time and this contract extension shows our commitment to him and his staff to continue to build and sustain this program for years to come."
There are currently six other FBS programs who have head-coaching vacancies other than Texas Tech, including UConn, Georgia Southern, LSU, USC, Washington State and TCU — which split with longtime coach Gary Patterson on Sunday night.
With Traylor now out of the picture, Texas Tech will presumably focus on Thamel’s other frontrunner in SMU coach Sonny Dykes.
Dykes, who had led California and Louisiana Tech before landing at SMU, has compiled a 29-14 overall record in four seasons with the Mustangs. They suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday to Houston after a 7-0 start.