Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt’s wallet just got a little fatter, according to a report from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The AD will now earn an annual salary of $1 million, set to increase to up to $1.4 million by the final year of the seven-year deal.
Hocutt, Tech’s AD since 2011, has overseen success across the athletic department. Although Red Raider football has yet to get over the 7-5 hump during his tenure, sports like track and field, tennis, golf, soccer, and baseball have fielded elite teams over the past several years, while Hocutt’s hires for men’s basketball have steered the program back to winning ways. In fact, 11 out of the school’s 14 sports played in the postseason in 2015-2016, as Tech became the Big 12’s only athletic program to play in a bowl game, the NCAA basketball tournament, and the College World Series.
“I couldn’t feel more fortunate to have the support that I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy at Texas Tech University,” Hocutt told the Lubbock newspaper. “The leadership continues to be tremendous… I couldn’t be more fortunate as an athletics director.”
This should reassure Texas Tech football fans should head coach Kliff Kingsbury begin to experience major success, as Hocutt has shown the ability to retain successful coaches or hire highly qualified replacements. Tech’s AD was able to hang on to reigning Big 12 Baseball Coach of the Year Tim Tadlock despite the Longhorns’ best efforts to bring him to Austin, and newly-hired basketball coach Chris Beard has already made waves on the recruiting trail and transfer market. Hocutt has also pushed for vast facilities upgrades across campus, such as the video board and additional club seating at Jones AT&T Stadium and the new football practice facility under construction next door.
“Living in Lubbock, Texas, you couldn’t find a better community to live in that provides tremendous support for our athletics department,” said Hocutt.
Texas Tech certainly feels Hocutt is among the nation’s best at his job, as they have just made him the highest paid AD in the state of Texas and one of the top eight highest paid in the country. The Red Raider faithful should be optimistic about Kirby’s commitment to Texas Tech and the program’s future athletic and financial prospects under Hocutt’s leadership.