Chris Beard Turned It Down, Tim Tadlock Did Not
The Texas Tech fanbase is still healing after the departure of Chris Beard from the Basketball program on April 1st.
The Red Raiders Athletic Director had offered former Texas Tech basketball head coach Chris Beard a rolling contract that would keep him as one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball. That contract offer was turned down last fall, long before the Texas Longhorns came calling.
Now, with rumors swirling that Texas A&M is going to call Tim Tadlock after parting ways with their baseball coach, a respected college baseball writer is reporting that Kirby Hocutt and the athletics department are offering Tim Tadlock whatever he wants to stay in Lubbock.
Obviously, Tadlock has been a priority for Texas Tech, and he has the pedigree to warrant an offer of this magnitude. In fact, he's earned it.
Texas Tech baseball is a top 5 program in college baseball over the last decade. Really, only behind teams who've won national championships. Coincidentally, winning a national championship is the next check on the to-do list for Tadlock.
It's not crazy for fans to draw the comparisons between Tadlock being pursued by Texas A&M and Beard being chased and stolen by Texas. There are a few similarities, sure. The "lifetime" contract offer. The basketball program had just built the Dustin R. Womble Practice Facility, and Texas Tech baseball just announced a $12 million renovation to the coaches and players facilities at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. The unprecedented successes that both coaches have had at Texas Tech compared to former Red Raider coaches.
But, honestly, that's where the comparisons stop. Chris Beard played a character at Texas Tech; Tim Tadlock is what he says. I'm still not convinced it was the deciding factor, but Tadlock is already coaching for his alma mater. Beard can expand his national media brand from Texas' platform, but Tadlock settles his brand disputes on the field and he's done that pretty well at The Law.
I was never naive enough to think that Beard would never leave Texas Tech. It certainly came earlier than I thought it would, but I always knew it was coming. It feels different with Tadlock, though. I get that college athletics is a business, but if Tadlock continues to compete at a high level, I don't think he'll ever leave Texas Tech. His retirement party will be held in Lubbock, Texas at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park on Tim Tadlock Drive.
Tim Tadlock will be wrapping up the 2041 College World Series where the Red Raiders just won their third national championship before announcing his retirement. Call me a sucker, tell me I'm naive, but nobody will ever outbid Texas Tech for the services of Tim Tadlock.
Just like nobody outbid Texas Tech for Chris Beard's services; he just chose to leave.
I don't want to end the story on a Beard mention, so I'll just remind everyone that Tadlock is a three-time Big 12 champion, has a 4-1 record in NCAA Regionals, has a 4-0 record at NCAA Super Regionals, and is the only Texas Tech coach to ever lead the Red Raiders to the College World Series and has done so four times since 2014.
Rolling contract, lifetime contract, big raise, you can call it whatever you want, Tim Tadlock deserves it and will continue to deserve it for as long as he coaches at Texas Tech.