Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt is Texas Tech’s highest paid assistant football coach, but ranks no better than 74th in the nation and 14th in the Big 12 Conference in pay among his colleagues, according to a national survey.
USA Today on Wednesday published a pay scale for all assistants in the FBS that showed three making more than $1 million this year. The leader is Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, the former Lake Travis head coach, at more than $1.3 million.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is due $75,000 in bonuses, according to terms of the contract he signed in February — $25,000 for getting the Red Raiders to a non-BCS bowl and another $50,000 based on attendance.
Kingsbury’s agreement with Tech spells out that if average home attendance is 95 percent or better of Jones AT&T Stadium’s listed capacity, he earns the bonus. Tech reported an average home attendance this season of 57,933, which is almost 96 percent of the listed capacity of 60,454.
Texas Tech will have a budget of $1,339,660 for its trip to the Holiday Bowl, senior associate athletic director Bobby Gleason said Wednesday.
The Big 12 Conference allocates $1 million for what it designates as a Tier II bowl, the Holiday being one. The remaining $339,660 consists of $370 per statute mile, one way, to the bowl site.
“As usual, we’re trying really hard to break even,” Gleason said.
Gleason said Tech has been close to a balanced budget on recent bowl trips.
Texas Tech will start two true freshmen in the secondary Thursday against Texas. February signee Justis Nelson will get his second start in a row at field (wide-side) cornerback, defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said Monday, and walk-on Tanner Jacobson from Southlake Carroll will make his third start at strong safety.
Both positions have been a revolving door lately. Olaoluwa Falemi started the first eight games at field corner. Derrick Mays made two starts, and then Nelson started and played 90 snaps in Tech’s last game against Baylor.
Inside linebacker Blake Dees has been dismissed from the team, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday, for a violation of team rules.
“He is not on the team,” Kingsbury said. “Moving forward, it’s something we’ll have to evaluate with him.”
Dees, a junior from Spanish Fort, Ala., had 11 tackles with two tackles for loss. He had not played in the last three games. Before that, he was a backup inside linebacker.
Bennett Ofor was in the Texas Tech defensive line rotation from the beginning of the game Saturday at Oklahoma, meaning the transfer from Midwestern State got his most significant playing time so far.
He came in mostly on passing downs for Dennell Wesley and lined up at noseguard.
It might have been because the Red Raiders needed another body with Dartwan Bush out with a sprained knee. And it might be a sign of Ofor’s development.
Texas Tech sophomore Micah Awe played most of the game Saturday against Oklahoma at Raider outside linebacker, taking over after starter Terrance Bullitt got hurt in the first quarter.
Awe had not played outside linebacker since his junior year in high school. He’s been a middle or, at least inside, linebacker ever since.
“I’ve never had to set the edge,” Awe said Tuesday. “I had to adjust on the fly.”
Texas Tech senior Ryan Erxleben is back among the Big 12’s top punters, ranking fourth in the league with a 43.1-yard average. He’s rebounded nicely from the jolt of losing his job — he’s a fourth-year starter — for a couple of weeks earlier this season.
“That was pretty tough,” he said. “I felt like I was getting a character test. At that point, I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew God held it and I just put my faith in him. I just held my head up, did the best I could and hoped for the best.”
Six Texas Tech exes are with NFL teams who have open dates this weekend, so the possibility exists the Red Raiders could have some famous faces on the premises for Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State.
None are certainties to show up yet.
“I don’t know,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I haven’t talked to any of them, but that would be cool if a couple of them came back.”
Texas Tech coaches and players said Monday they don’t begrudge Oklahoma its spirited celebration at the end of the Sooners’ 38-30 victory Saturday.
In what’s become a common scene in the series lately, the winning team began dancing to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” that blared over the stadium speakers. Quite a few fans did, too. The music and gyrating broke out after OU got a fourth-down stop with 39 seconds left, then took a knee to run out the clock.
Tech defensive end Branden Jackson said it wasn’t out of line.