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Tech, Spencer agree to new five-year contract

Posted: November 17, 2010 - 3:18pm
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From the moment he walked on campus, Texas Tech baseball coach Dan Spencer has been committed to not only putting the Red Raiders back atop the Big 12 Conference, but taking them even farther.

Only recently, however, did Texas Tech reciprocate that commitment in terms of approving fund-raising to renovate Dan Law Field, bringing it up to standard with the rest of the league and the top programs across the nation. Once that happened, Spencer had no problem with reaffirming his commitment to the program by signing a new five-year contract through 2015.

“The big thing was when ... (Chancellor Kent Hance) got behind us and said ‘yes, go and raise the money’ then I felt comfortable that I wanted to be here and nowhere else,” Spencer said. “I was never interested in going anywhere else, but we wanted the stadium and wanted to have the commitment (from the school) that we would get better.”

Spencer said he did receive a raise but declined to discuss specific money involved in the new contract. Entering his third year as head coach in 2011, Spencer had three years remaining on his original contract when he was elevated from assistant head coach to head coach in 2008 following the retirement of Larry Hays.

Spencer has compiled a record of 53-61 in two years with the Red Raiders, including a 25-29 mark in Big 12 play. But the Red Raiders have qualified for the Big 12 Championships in each of his two seasons after missing the tournament the two years prior, and in 2010 Tech was in contention for an NCAA tournament berth until a late-season swoon hurt its chances.

His latest push has been to renovate Dan Law Field at a cost estimated at $16 million. Spencer said fund-raising efforts have produced enough money that he hopes the renovations can begin after the 2011 season, but he is cautiously optimistic about that target date.

“We’re making headway,” Spencer said. “I feel we’ve got things rolling and a timeline to get it done and my hopes are to get started doing something this summer. I hope that’s not premature but I think that’s the reality of where we are and that’s our goal.”

Spencer said his new contract will also help on the recruiting trail.

He said other schools recruiting against Tech have used the lack of a new stadium against the Red Raiders when trying to lure potential players.

“They’d say ‘It’s important to Spencer but it hasn’t happened, so it’s not a sure thing he’ll stay,’” Spencer said. “So with this new deal we can reject that notion that I’m not saying and that big things are in store for our stadium. In the coaching world security is hard to come by and I’m very grateful. It’s huge for me and my family and again this is where I want to be. I think over time we can become a good program.”

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Spencer

I've followed Tech baseball for a long time (through the occasional TV broadcasts and A-J coverage) and I'm curious as to why they don't get as much publicity or press as the football and basketball. Dan Spencer is proof that to succeed a legend like Larry Hays, you don't have to coach like a legend but you have to motivate your team the same way he did. The 2011 campaign should be worth looking forward to.

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