LUBBOCK, Texas – Wes Kittley, the longest-tenured Texas Tech head coach in school history and recently-announced member of the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame class of 2023, has agreed to a new seven-year contract with the university, Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt announced Friday.
Kittley, 64, will be among the highest-paid collegiate track and field head coaches nationally under his new contract, which is valued at just over $3.8 million, not including potential performance bonuses. The contract was formally approved Thursday during a regularly-called meeting of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.
“We have the best track and field coach in the country in Coach Kittley,” Hocutt said. “Our track and field program is a shining example of the consistency we hope all our teams strive for with their multiple Big 12 titles and our 2019 National Championship. Coach Kittley will be the first to tell you they plan to only get better. We couldn’t be more excited he will continue to lead our program for years to come.”
The 2024 indoor and outdoor track and field season will mark Kittley’s 25th at Texas Tech, which surpasses a fellow national championship head coach in Marsha Sharp for the longest tenure among all sports in Texas Tech history. Kittley began his tenure at Texas Tech in 1999 after another highly-successful stretch at Abilene Christian.
Since then, both the Texas Tech men’s and women’s programs have been a beacon of success, highlighted by 11 total Big 12 team championships, 31 individual NCAA champions, 16 top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships and eight team top-five national finishes. Kittley’s program has produced 200 Big 12 individual champions as well as 19 Olympians, including five who have combined for eight medals.
The highlight of Kittley’s career, thus far, came in 2019 when Texas Tech captured the NCAA Men’s Outdoor National Championship, the first team championship for a men’s sport in school history and the first for any sport since Sharp’s Lady Raiders historic title in 1993. Kittley was tabbed the USTFCCCA Men’s National Coach of the Year that season, a first for a Texas Tech coach in school history.
“For almost 25 years, I have had the great honor and privilege to be the head men’s and women’s track and field and cross country coach at my dream school,” Kittley said. “To be able to finish my career here with the commitment from the Board of Regents, Chancellor Mitchell, President Schovanec, Kirby Hocutt and Jonathan Botros, my family is eternally grateful. I cannot tell you in words what this means to me. I love my job and Texas Tech, and I want Red Raider Nation to know that we’re not done yet. This place is truly special and more than a home to me. I get to work in a place that I love that’s one big family. Wreck ‘Em!”
Texas Tech is coming off another impressive year under Kittley as the men’s program claimed both the Big 12 indoor and outdoor championships, while also finishing sixth at the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Championships. The women’s team, meanwhile, wrapped the NCAA Outdoor Championships in seventh place nationally, its second-highest finish in program history after scoring its most points ever at the outdoor meet.
Kittley’s successful career was recognized earlier this week as he was named a member of the 2023 class to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame. He will be formally inducted during a ceremony Dec. 12 in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado.
Release Provided by Chris Duarte Texas Tech Athletics