Interesting that no booster money was used for Otz, per the LV Sun
By Mike Grimala
Wed, Apr 3, 2019 (2 a.m.)
T.J. Otzelberger will soon become the highest-paid basketball coach in UNLV history, and the school’s athletic department will be footing the entire bill.
Despite speculation during the coaching search that program boosters were organized in an effort to fund the Rebels’ next hire, athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois told the Sun on Tuesday that no such agreement was ever in place and that the entirety of Otzelberger’s contract will be paid from UNLV’s athletics budget.
Otzelberger’s five-year deal runs through the 2023-24 season and will pay him a total of $6.5 million. The pact is fully guaranteed, in line with industry standards. The contract of previous coach Marvin Menzies was not fully guaranteed; Menzies was set to make $800,000 for each of the next two seasons, but UNLV is only responsible for paying half that amount after firing him on March 15.
Otzelberger is set to make $1.1 million in 2019-20, with escalating raises of $100,000 every year. Reed-Francois said the bump from Menzies’ $800,000 to Otzelberger’s $1.1 million will mostly be covered by increased revenue from UNLV’s broadcast contract with Learfield Communications. UNLV signed a 10-year deal with Learfield in 2017-18 that will bring in a guaranteed $45 million for the school.
Boosters play a big role in Division I athletics, as they can supplement (and sometimes even dwarf) a program's budget when the school is attempting to make a run at a coach who can command a high salary. They can also help the school pay the buyout of a fired coach, alleviating the university's financial burden. UNLV's regular boosters are notoriously disorganized and difficult to manage, however, often leaving the athletic department to handle its own business.
Though he’s not yet the highest-paid coach in Rebels history, Otzelberger only has to make it through one year to claim that title. Former coach Lon Kruger made $1.125 million in his last year at UNLV before leaving for Oklahoma. Otzelberger will surpass that mark by making $1.2 million in 2020-21.
Otzelberger can also earn more money by reaching performance incentives. Some of the notable bonus milestones written into his contract:
Mountain West regular-season championship: $25,000
Mountain West tournament championship: $25,000
NCAA tournament at-large berth: $25,000
NCAA tournament Final Four berth: $50,000
NCAA tournament championship: $100,000
NIT at-large berth: $15,000
NIT championship: $25,000
Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or email@example.com. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.