As Florida State prepares to play in what figures to be the most competitive men's basketball conference in the country, the university has extended the head coach’s contract.
Seminoles men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton signed a contract extension that will ultimately pay him $750,000 more a year than he made under his previous agreement.
In a news release Wednesday, FSU announced Hamilton’s latest contract runs through 2016-17 season. According to Hamilton's new contract, which was obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, the coach could make up to $2.25 million in total annual pay by 2017.
“I am extremely thankful to [FSU] president Eric Barron and our administration for allowing us to continue to build upon the foundation that we have worked so hard to put into place in my first 11 years at Florida State,” Hamilton said in a news release. “We are excited for our university and our basketball program as we enter a new era in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
A two-time ACC coach of the year, Hamilton — who had earlier stops as the head coach at Miami and with the Washington Wizards — arrived in Tallahassee in 2002. Since then, he has made the Seminoles relevant on the hardwood.
FSU made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2009-2012, a first for the program. In 2012, the team won its first ACC tournament championship when it beat perennial power North Carolina in the league title game.
Hamilton also had players drafted every year between 2009-12. FSU was one of five schools that could boast that distinction.
In addition to claiming ACC coach of the year honors at FSU in 2009 and 2012, Hamilton also earned Big East coach of the year honors when he was at Miami. He is the only coach to have won coach of the year honors in basketball conferences.
“Under his leadership, FSU is in excellent position entering the new ACC,” Barron said in a news release.
Since his contract was amended in 2011, Hamilton has made $1.5 million each year in total pay. That total pay included his base salary of $205,000 which was paid by the university, and other incentives paid by the university’s athletic fund-raising group.
His other compensation includes $500,000 each year for radio and television appearances, $630,000 for speaking engagements and $165,000 as part of FSU's agreement with shoe and apparel sponsor Nike.
All of that totaled $1.5 million before bonuses.
Hamilton's additional compensation will now be awarded on a tiered basis. While his base $205,000 annual salary remains the same, he will make $600,000 in radio and television compensation for the first year of his new contract, which began Monday. That number increases to $700,000 during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years and $800,000 during the final two years of the new deal.
The speaking engagement pay begins at $750,000 for the remainder of this contract year, and goes up to $850,000 during the next two years and $950,000 during the final two years.
The sponsorship pay starts at $195,000 for the rest of this contract year and goes up to $245,000 during the next two years and $295,000 during the final two years.
Hamilton will make $1.75 million on this contract year, which ends in December. By the end of his contract in 2017, he will make $2.25 million in annual salary.
Hamilton's bonus structure also increased. In his last contract, Hamilton received $50,000 additional compensation if FSU participated in the NCAA Tournament. Under his new contract, Hamilton will make $200,000 per NCAA Tournament appearance.
During the 2012 season when the Seminoles won a conference championship and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, Hamilton would have made $750,000 in bonuses had the current contract been in place. He ended up making $125,000 in bonuses for that season.
“Our goal is to become one of the elite programs in all of college basketball,” Hamilton said in a news release. “With the continued support of the university and all of our tremendous fans, we are well on our way to achieving our goal.”
In both Barron's and Hamilton's statements, they emphasized their belief that the ACC now is “the strongest basketball conference in the nation.”
Hamilton said he credits Barron with “spearheading” a campaign that will make the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center a more competitive place for his team to play. Last year, the university acquired the building from the city. The school is currently planning major renovations to the facility that was built in the late 1970s.
Interim athletics director Vanessa Fuchs, a former FSU women's basketball player, backed up Barron's sentiments.
“Over the last eight seasons, FSU basketball ranks among the top three in the conference in winning percentage and the team has played in the postseason in each of those years as well,” Fuchs said in a news release. “We are all looking forward to future success with Leonard continuing to build on the strong foundation he has established here in Tallahassee.”