Knight agrees to stay through 2009

Updated: June 10, 2004, 3:06 PM ET
Associated Press

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Bob Knight agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep the basketball coach at Texas Tech until 2009.

Athletic director Gerald Myers told The Associated Press on Wednesday the agreement probably will be signed next week. Knight's contract pays him $250,000 a year and runs through May 2006.

Knight needs 48 victories to overtake Dean Smith (879) as the winningest coach in Division I. He has led Texas Tech to three consecutive season of at least 20 wins and taken the Red Raiders to postseason play each year.

"I'm pleased with the direction of our program," Myers said. "He's done a great job turning everything around. I think the future really looks good for us."

Knight is on vacation in Canada and was unavailable to comment Wednesday.

"I look forward to doing this a long time," Knight said in Wednesday's edition of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "This is the best possible situation for me as long as I coach."

He will begin his fourth season at Tech -- his 39th overall -- with 832 wins. He is the victory leader among active coaches following the retirement of Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary's in 2003.

Knight was hired by Texas Tech in 2001, six months after he was fired by Indiana for what then-school president Myles Brand called his "pattern of unacceptable behavior."

Knight has acknowledged that he is working on his temper, though there have been a couple of incidents. In February, he was reprimanded for a loud public outburst at the university's chancellor. In 2002, Knight and the general manager of the Compaq Center in Houston exchanged words after Knight complained about the facility.

On the court, Knight has led the Red Raiders to three consecutive seasons of at least 20 wins and postseason appearances -- a feat never before achieved at the school. Before his arrival, Tech hadn't had a winning season in four years. Tech is 68-33 under Knight.

Knight's current five-year contract is worth $4.5 million. In addition to the $250,000 in base pay, he was given $150,000 in deferred annual income and $500,000 in guaranteed outside income through May 2006.

Near the end of his second season at Tech, Knight announced he was returning his salary because he hadn't done a very good job, and neither had his team.

He also turned down his salary his first season at Tech but for a different reason. Citing his gratitude for being hired, Knight accepted only the $15,000 needed to qualify for Tech benefits after offering to work for free.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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