New FAU men's basketball coach Michael Curry signed a six-year contract worth close to $2 million on Tuesday. FAU finalized the contract Wednesday.
Curry will make $325,000 in his first year at FAU and will receive annual 2.5 percent increases every summer as long as he holds the job.
Curry's first-year salary represents at least a $75,000 increase from former coach Mike Jarvis' salary. Jarvis resigned on Feb. 28 after a 10-22 season and six years in Boca Raton.
The contract stipulates that Curry will have a $380,000 pool from which to pay his assistant coaches.
FAU has included steep buyout clauses in Curry's contract, signaling that they think Curry will draw the attention of larger schools in the near future.
Year one: $750,000
Year two: $600,000
Year three: $400,000
Year four: $200,000
Year five: $100,000
100 percent due 60 days after termination
Curry's contract also includes a clause that states that if FAU fires the coach without cause, it must give him four years advance notice. The 48-month notice is the largest such cause of any FAU coach and is no doubt tied to FAU's litigation with former head football coach Carl Pelini, who contended after his resignation that FAU never went though the proper termination process, as expressed in his contract. FAU football coach Charlie Partridge has a three-year notice in his contract. Pelini had no such notice and was only entitled to the remainder of the year's salary.
As is the case with contracts at the Division I level, Curry is set to receive bonuses for a variety of team accomplishments, including:
Receiving an invitation to the NIT $3,000
Winning a regular season conference championship $5,000
Receiving an at-large NCAA Tournament bid $7,500
Winning a conference tournament (and receiving an NCAA bid) $10,000
Winning National Coach of the Year Award $10,000
Winning conference coach of the year award $5,000
Winning NCAA Tournament game $10,000
Making Sweet 16 $15,000
Making Elite Eight $20,000
Making Final Four $25,000
Appearing in NCAA Championship Game $30,000
Winning NCAA Championship $50,000
APR of 950-plus $5,000
APR of 960-plus $7,500
Top-ten percent APR nationally $10,000
Curry is also set to receive lump sum retention payments of $10,000 on July 1, 2016 and $15,000 on July 1, 2018, should he still be FAU's basketball coach at the time.
The APR bonuses are for single-year scores. Those bonuses are particularly poignant because FAU could face NCAA sanctions from low APR scores in the coming months.
The Owls basketball team earned a rolling, four-year, score of 919 last year — 302nd among all Division I teams — but avoided postseason sanctions. But with the NCAA raising academic standards for the 2014-15 athletic season (a 930 four-year APR is the new cutoff) FAU would need significant academic improvement to avoid santions. That seems unlikely, as FAU's next reported score will be from the 2012-13 season, after which several players left the team because for academic reasons.
FAU is Curry's first college basketball coaching job, in any capacity, and his salary reflects that. Conference USA men's basketball coaches have seen a steady increase in their pay in recent years, pushing the average per-year value of their contracts to $430,000. [That figure does not include Rice and Texas-San Antonio, who haven't responded to Sun Sentinel inquiries, or Marshall, who is yet to hire a men's basketball coach (though the reported interest in Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni would likely increase the league average, should the two agree to a deal.)]
Alan Major-Charlotte $450000
Anthony Evans-FIU $250000
Michael Curry-FAU $325000
Michael White-Louisiana Tech $600000