LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - In the 11th hour, talks between Texas Tech officials and head coach Mike Leach end in a contract deal.
You'll remember the deadline for Leach to sign a contract extension ended Tuesday afternoon at 5 p.m. with negotiations at a standstill, but Thursday both sides met to reopen discussions, and an agreement was reached in the early afternoon.
At a 6 p.m. live news conference Thursday, Mike Leach and Texas Tech announce the details of a new 5-year deal. The offer is up to $12.7 million over five years and the four points of disagreement were settled.
The Texas Tech Regents were scheduled to meet on this issue Friday. But the Chancellor says that meeting is now cancelled.
To watch the complete press conference click on the streaming video icon above.
Here is a transcript of what was said:
(Kent Hance, Texas Tech Chancellor)
I'm pleased to announce today an agreement with coach Mike Leach to extend his contract through the year 2013. I respect Mike and all that he's done for Texas Tech football. Thanks to him we have sold out football games and national rankings. We're very proud of Mike. I've always said Mike Leach was a great fit for Texas Tech. And I think he fits us well. We like him and we'd like for him to be here.
I also appreciate Gerald Myers and the job that he's done in managing all 17 of our athletic programs. And I'll just say this. No one loves Texas Tech more or as given more of their life to Texas Tech than Gerald Myers. And it's my pleasure at this time to introduce out Athletic Director, Coach Gerald Myers.
(Gerald Myers, Texas Tech Athletic Director)
Well, to put it mildly this has been a tough negotiation. It's been a tough time. And it's really good to get it behind us. I know a lot of you sitting out there said we wouldn't get it done. But it's done. We're pleased. I think Mike is pleased with it. I think everybody concerned is pleased with the agreement that we have in place. And I will say this. I said this in the beginning of negotiations that I wanted Mike to be our coach. I think that got lost with all the rhetoric and speculation and everything else through the process. I've never wavered on that part. I wanted him to be our coach. And I'm excited about our football team, about our players; I see them working hard every day. I mean, they're working just as hard right now as they did back in August when they started. And I'm excited about our team. And I'm looking forward to another exciting year of Texas Tech football. With that I will turn it over to Mike.
(Mike Leach, Texas Tech Head Football Coach)
I want to thank Chancellor Hance. With [out] his leadership I don't know that this contract would have gotten done and so I really appreciate his efforts in ultimately brining this whole thing all together. And I want to thank coach Myers for his help and support with regard to that and his leadership in the athletic department. Me and my family are thrilled to death that we're gonna be in Lubbock for another five years because it's become a part of our family.
And at the rate I get folks saying "I just don't know if you like Lubbock" it's like I don't know how we can get more rooted any deeper than we already are. So, I've decided rather than mess with all of that I'm going to say I love Lubbock every single press conference. And so, our family all loves Lubbock and I appreciate Chancellor Hance and Gerald's efforts to allow us to stay here and the opportunity to be your coach for the Red Raiders for what I hope is many years to come. And as I've said for some time I'm thrilled about this season. We've a group that there's not all these "this guy's a star" or "that guy's a star" [They're] all really highly motivated and work really hard and every time you check on them everyone is doing things right. So, it's kind of scaring me right now. So, I don't know if which pipe will burst or one will.
We're excited about the season, can't wait for Spring. With regard to all of this, I mean, there's a lot of people involved that make Texas Tech and make football. Y'know, it starts with our fans and their spirit and their support. So, I'm thankful to all those people.
I know that you probably have some questions. I was just going to invite those questions. I think probably the big question will be: what about the four areas that there was disagreement? Taking those four; on the issue of approval to interview another school, we've changed that to notification. Gerald says that's all he wants, and that's all I wanted. And Mike said that's great with him. We also on the marketing part, I think we probably didn't explain that well enough. And that was a little vague and confusing to the general public as well as to Mike. The main thing that we're trying to do is that last year we felt like Mike was not marketed as well as he should have been. And that's something; we've got a new marketing group that's coming in. And we plan to market him. We think that as a Red Raider there's all kinds of potential out there from additional Red Raiders to Pirates. We plan to market him. He said that would be great with him and so we agreed on that. There really wasn't any disagreement on that. We've never wanted book rights or movie rights. I might want a walk on part in the movie. But we reached an agreement on that without any problems.
The other two provisions had to do with a buyout and had to do with the termination. And the termination; we had proposed $300,000 a year for the number of years left. And they had proposed 30 percent. And we reached deal today at $400,000 a year for the number of years left. And on the buyout, for him to go to another school, after talking to him & everything I'm convinced that this is a five-year contract but he wants to be here a lot more than five years. If he didn't want to be here, why should we penalize him if he wanted to leave. So, I just said we'll make that zero on the buyout. And there's certainly no buyout in there, because I know he's not leaving. And Mike likes us, we like Mike. And this was kind of an unusual situation. People said there were some disagreements. We care, and we care deeply about Texas Tech. And we all have issues we have to look after and I think that pretty well sums it up on those issues. And we're happy about it and we shook hands and had a good visit.