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In what was an expected move this week, Texas Tech athletics officials announced a contract extension for men’s basketball head coach Mark Adams that should tether him to the Red Raider sidelines through the 2026-27 season.
Adams did everything he needed to do in the past year or so to merit a new deal. First, he demonstrated loyalty to the university by deciding to remain in Lubbock and pursue the Tech job while Chris Beard and most of his sizable coaching entourage departed for Austin. Loyalty will always count for a lot in West Texas.
Still, it only goes so far, which made what happened in the recently concluded Red Raider season impressive. Adams assembled a quality coaching staff and managed what has become a yearly roster challenge thanks to the NCAA’s thinly veiled nod to free agency known as the transfer portal.
When it was over, Tech finished with a 27-10 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, where the Red Raiders fell to sentimental favorite Duke and its retiring head coach, Mike Krzyzewski. Along the way, Tech defeated Kansas (eventual national champion), Baylor (defending national champion, twice) and Texas (new home of Beard, twice).
Adams, the architect of the Raiders’ relentless defensive scheme as Beard’s top assistant, has said all along he considers Tech his dream job. His coaching pedigree is one marked by success at every stop, and while last season was his first as head coach of a Power Five program, he looked remarkably comfortable every day as he molded the Raiders into a contender.
On top of all that, he has been an incredible ambassador for Texas Tech, Lubbock and all of West Texas. Tech responded this week with a sweet five-year deal worth $15.5 million.
“Texas Tech has always been my destination, and I will continue doing everything possible to make this the best program in the nation,” he said in our story this week. “I thank God for this opportunity to invest in these young men and to represent Texas Tech.”
Contract extensions can be dicey business in college athletics. On the one hand, schools don’t want to lose their highly successful coach after only one season. No school wants to be known as a program “on the way” to somewhere else. As a result, bold action is required to pre-empt possible suitors making appealing sales pitches.
On the other hand, one successful season, sparkling as it was, can sometimes fuel quick and excess reaction. For example, it wasn’t long ago Kliff Kingsbury started his Red Raider football tenure with seven victories on the way to an 8-5 season and secured a handsome extension as a result. Unfortunately, that first-year success represented a high-water mark compared to his subsequent five seasons at the helm.
We’re not saying Adams' extension is undeserved, and the dynamics are different in every coaching contract extension situation. Most important, though, in these highly competitive days of intercollegiate athletics schools feel compelled to act with urgency because if they don't move decisively, it might open the door for another to do so.
That said, there is undoubtedly momentum here and a lot of great things going on. For evidence of that, check out a Red Raider home game next season.
Besides that, if anyone understands how to maintain Texas Tech’s current upward trajectory, it is Mark Adams.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Texas Tech moves quickly to extend contract of coach Mark Adams