Texas Tech, Mike Leach finally agree to contract extension:Hot and Latest News
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Texas Tech, Mike Leach finally agree to contract extension

Texas Tech and football coach Mike Leach have finally agreed to a contract extension after more than 10 months of negotiations that will keep him at the school through 2013, a source with knowledge of the talks told The Dallas Morning News on Thursday.

Leach met with Tech chancellor Kent Hance for almost three hours early Thursday afternoon and the two sides have agreed to Tech's $12.7 million offer that will extend Leach's current two-year deal three more seasons. The contract hasn't been signed but that could take place as early as Friday, the source said.

Tech athletic director Gerald Myers and Leach's IMG agents, Gary O'Hagan and Matt Baldwin, didn't attend the meeting between only Leach and Hance, the source said. Leach and Hance could not immediately be reached for comment.

Leach and Hance hashed out the sticking points earlier today involving four clauses that Tech inserted into its latest offer Jan. 9 that wrecked previous progress. The four clauses involved the guaranteed termination compensation Leach would receive if fired, the buyout amount he would pay if he left early, a penalty for interviewing for another job without permission and who controlled Leach's personal property rights.

A news conference has been called for 6 p.m. today.

The two sides agreed to take out the buyout in the contract altogether, the source said. Tech had wanted a $1.5 million buyout, but now Leach will become the fifth Big 12 football head coach without a buyout in his contract.

The two sides agreed to raise Leach's guaranteed money to $2 million, the source said. Tech had offered $1.5 million in its latest offer. Both parties agreed that Leach is to give notification if he is to interview for another job, the source said, but doesn't need Myers' permission, as Tech had originally asked. Both sides agreed to meet in the middle on Leach's personal property rights, the source said.

The convoluted and sometimes heated contract negotiations first became public after The Dallas Morning News filed an open records request in mid-January asking for documents involving talks between the two parties. On Wednesday, the drama played out nationally as Leach talked to everyone from ESPN to a local radio station.

Tech had set a Tuesday deadline for Leach to agree to its terms, but no deal was signed. A few hours before Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline, Tech's Board of Regents called a "special teleconference meeting" for Friday in which regents were to discuss Leach's contract status and future with the school. Earlier Tuesday, about 40 people showed up outside the football offices for a rally on Leach's behalf.

On Wednesday, Leach formally requested that the regents meeting be open and for him to have the chance to speak. But that won't be necessary after an almost yearlong standoff has ended with Leach able to keep his job following a 2008 season in which he led the Red Raiders to one of the best seasons in school history.

Leach, who just completed his ninth season, is seven wins shy of becoming the school's all-time winningest football coach.


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