The school announced the decision in a release and said that Tuberville will be introduced on Sunday.
Leach was fired last month amid allegations he mistreated a player who suffered a concussion.
Tuberville stepped down at Auburn in December
2008, ending a 10-year tenure that included a perfect season and a
string of teams that contended for Southeastern Conference
The 55-year-old Tuberville was 85-40 at
Auburn, including a 13-0 season in 2004 when the Tigers finished No. 2,
won the SEC title for the first time in 15 years and Tuberville was
named AP Coach of the Year.
Tuberville and his family were flying to
Lubbock later Saturday, a person close to the decision to hire
Tuberville told The Associated Press. The person was not authorized to
discuss the decision and spoke on condition of anonymity.
No contract has been signed, the person said, but Tuberville and the university have "an agreement in principle in place."
Voice messages left on the cell phones of
athletic director Gerald Myers and Kent Hance, the university system's
chancellor, were not immediately returned Saturday. Tuberville didn't
immediately return messages left on his cell phone.
Tuberville will be officially introduced as
the new coach at 2 p.m. CST Sunday at the school's basketball arena by
Myers and Guy Bailey, Texas Tech's president.
Before coming to Auburn, Tuberville coached
at Mississippi and compiled a 25-20 record in four years after
inheriting a program under NCAA scholarship sanctions. He also spent a
year as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M when the Aggies finished
10-0-1 and were among the nation's defensive leaders.
The only other candidate for the post was
Ruffin McNeill, who was named interim head coach after Leach was fired
and led the Red Raiders to a 41-31 win over Michigan State in the Alamo
The university fired Leach, the school's
winningest coach with 84 wins, with cause Dec. 30, two days after it
suspended him while the school investigated claims of mistreatment of
Adam James — son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James.
Leach has denied he mistreated the sophomore
receiver and his attorneys have filed claims in state district court,
alleging university officials libeled and slandered him to
intentionally harm his reputation.
Myers told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal last
week that Tuberville told him he would keep the Red Raiders' aerial
offense in place and wanted to maintain continuity in the program,
which hasn't had a losing season since 1992.
Tuberville told the newspaper he would change some things defensively, drawing on success he had at Auburn.