Geno Auriemma is no different than any other coach under contract. What that means is, unless he is planning to retire, one eye is always trained on what’s coming next.
And it’s now that time for UConn’s Hall of Fame coach.
Geno signed a five-year, $8 million contract extension that began July 1, 2008 and included a base salary of $300,000 the first year.
That deal is set to expire next summer. And even though there is still time, this is traditionally the time that a new one begins to be negotiated.
According to the terms of his last deal, his base salary was due to increase by $25,000 annually throughout the contract, which means he will make approximately $425,000 this season.
Auriemma, who has led the Huskies to seven national titles, received $1.1 million in addition to his base salary for speaking and media appearances in the contract’s first year. That increased by $75,000 annually throughout the contract.
Auriemma also gets bonuses for NCAA tournament appearances, Final Four appearances [four since the last deal began] and any additional national titles [two more].
Auriemma will make about $1.8 million this year, the contract’s final year.
That deal surpassed one signed by Tennessee coach Pat Summitt in 2006. Her deal, which ran through the 2011-12 season, included $1.5 million in her contract’s final year.
This will be the first major contract negotiated by UConn’s new AD Warde Manuel. It seems to me he knows the value of what he has – and that doesn’t even include the equity that comes from the 2010 World Championship and 2012 Olympic gold medal Auriemma won as coach of the USA Basketball team.
UConn’s 12 players are the most of any school in the WNBA. Six of his former players were on the Olympic team. National high school players of the year, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart, have highlighted his last two recruiting classes.
Not only that, Auriemma’s relationships have helped attract, in some part, the money that has been donated to build the new basketball training facility on campus. Peter Werth, who gave the school $4.5 million last season, is a huge fan of the women’s program and Auriemma.
So the process, which is beginning as we speak, will make Auriemma the wealthiest women’s basketball coach in the United States very soon.