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Incentive to do well at UMass-Amherst
Bonuses can mean big bump to base salaries of coaches
Two losing seasons into his first college head coaching job, Derek Kellogg can count on a reward if he guides his UMass-Amherst men’s basketball team to a postseason tournament.
Kellogg’s contract, the richest among the university’s coaches, includes $25,000 performance bonuses for each round of the NCAA Tournament - or $5,000 for every round of the NIT - his team reaches.
Unlike the school’s football and women’s basketball coaches, however, Kellogg has nothing to gain contractually from improving his team’s academic performance, according to copies of the school’s coaching contracts obtained by the Globe through a public records request.
Kellogg, who earns a base salary of $215,000, will receive an additional $260,000 this year for complying with university-related television, radio, and public speaking obligations. His contract calls for the media-related compensation to increase $25,000 annually, which would boost his combined salary in 2014, the final year of his deal, to $585,000.
Football coach Kevin Morris, who last year signed a five-year agreement with an annual base salary of $200,000, can trigger postseason incentives of $5,000 for a conference championship, $5,000 for each round of the NCAA Tournament his team reaches, and $10,000 for winning the Football Championship Subdivision title.
Morris also can earn a $5,000 bonus each year his team scores 975 or higher on the NCAA’s annual Academic Progress Report. He can pick up an additional $2,500 bonus every year his team’s APR improves from the previous year, based on the NCAA’s most recent report in 2009.
The UMass football team scored a 927 in the ’09 report, slightly below the 935 average in the Football Championship Subdivision. The first chance for the Minutemen to improve the mark under Morris will come with the release of the 2010 report in May.
By comparison, Kellogg’s squad scored 931 in the APR report, just below the national average of 933 for Division 1 men’s basketball teams.
In women’s basketball, UMass-Amherst coach Marnie Dacko, whose contract will not be renewed, the school announced yesterday, had a similar stake in her team’s academic performance.
UMass-Amherst athletic director John McCutcheon, who negotiated the academic incentives for Morris and Dacko, declined to say whether Dacko’s teams had triggered her bonuses, citing student privacy laws. He also declined to discuss his negotiations with Kellogg other than to say the topic of academic incentives never arose.
McCutcheon, who recently decided to remain at UMass after considering a similar job at San Diego State, indicated he is likely to follow the national trend among college athletic directors of writing more academic performance clauses into coaching contracts.
“The APR gives us good measurable criteria to use,’’ he said. “I think you’ll see more of it in the future.’’
McCutcheon said the financial packages he negotiated with Kellogg and Morris rank slightly above average for coaches in their conferences, the Atlantic 10 for basketball and Colonial Athletic for football.
The highest-paid college coach in Massachusetts is Boston College’s Al Skinner, who competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. According to BC’s most recently available federal tax statements, Skinner earned $2.2 million in 2008 as the school’s highest-paid employee. The second-highest paid was Jeff Jagodzinski, the football coach who later resigned, at $1.1 million.
As a private school, BC is not required to release employee contracts to the public, as are UMass and other public institutions.
Copies of the UMass-Amherst contracts show several coaches are eligible for bonuses tied to ticket sales. In Kellogg’s case, he can receive 25 percent of the gross ticket revenue that exceeds $700,000 each year for men’s basketball. (McCutcheon said the program has yet to reach the $700,000 mark under Kellogg.)
Men’s hockey coach Don Cahoon, whose base salary this year is $199,379, receives an additional $10 for each adult season ticket sold for his home games. He also is eligible for performance bonuses: one month’s salary for reaching any of five benchmarks, from winning the Hockey East regular season to capturing a national championship.
As for Dacko, her ticket incentives included a provision that called for her to receive $2 for every public ticket sold when her team hosted a top-10 opponent, which did not occur this year.
Dacko could have triggered two other performance bonuses - $10,000 for winning the Atlantic 10 regular-season championship, and $10,000 for participating in an NCAA Tournament - but her teams did not achieve either goal.
Most other coaches of Division 1 intercollegiate sports teams at UMass can earn bonuses for achieving postseason milestones. Their base salaries range from $60,000 for women’s lacrosse coach Alexis Venechanos to $123,565 for softball coach Elaine Sortino.
UMass coaches also may earn outside income from sources such as shoe and equipment companies. In addition, they can conduct camps and clinics at the school so long as they pay the university a commission, in most cases 3 percent of their gross revenues.
Several coaches also agreed to pay various sums to the school should they resign before their contracts expire. In Kellogg’s case, he would pay $500,000 if he were to resign before the end of the 2012 season, $400,000 before the end of the ’13 season, and $300,000 before the ’14 season ends. Morris would pay a flat fee of $100,000, Cahoon $50,000.
The only other public college or university in Massachusetts that fields a Division 1 sports team is UMass-Lowell, in men’s hockey. Coach Blaise MacDonald earns $170,000 a year, plus a $7,200 annual car allowance. He also can receive bonuses for postseason achievements and ticket sales.