Romar's extension goes through 2016
Seattle Times staff reporter
Coaching salaries$1.42 million
Lute Olson, Arizona
Ben Howland, UCLA
Lorenzo Romar, UW
Washington is expected to announce Friday a new contract for men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar that will keep him with the Huskies through 2016 and could pay him $1.505 million per season.
Romar and UW agreed to the extension last fall but the final details were not completed until just recently. Technically, it's a 10-year extension that began with last season, leaving nine more seasons on the contract — it ends in March, 2016.
School officials confirmed that the new contract guarantees Romar $1.105 million per season, which includes a base salary of $375,000. The rest of the guaranteed money comes in the form of media compensation, the school's contract with Nike and speaking engagements.
There is another $200,000 in bonuses and incentives for on-court and classroom success, and $200,000 in deferred compensation, meaning the total potential value is $1.505 million per year.
Romar was guaranteed $985,000 on his former contract.
The contract puts Romar in the upper echelon of coaching salaries in the nation and among the highest in the Pac-10.
Arizona's Lute Olson reportedly earns $1.42 million per year with UCLA's Ben Howland at $1.3 million. Oregon's Ernie Kent and Arizona State's Herb Sendek each reportedly make $1 million a year, and Washington State's Tony Bennett recently agreed to a new contract that pays him $800,000 per season.
New Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie is believed to be the highest-paid coach in college basketball at $2.3 million per season.
The new deal is an extension of an eight-year contract Romar agreed to in March, 2005 in the wake of leading the Huskies to the Sweet 16 and the first No. 1 NCAA tournament seed in school history. That contract also included a one-time retention compensation payment of $300,000. That payment is apparently not included in the new contract.
Under his old contract, Romar also receives the use of two cars per year from the school's Courtesy Car Program.
The contract also includes buyout clauses in case Romar leaves UW before the expiration date, or if the school fires Romar. However, those were not available Thursday.
Romar's contract puts him in line with UW football coach Tyrone Willingham, who earns a guaranteed $1,312,772 per year plus $100,000 deferred. Willingham also has incentives that can earn him an additional $395,000 per year for a total potential compensation of $1.808 million.
New UW women's basketball coach Tia Jackson recently signed a contract that pays her a guaranteed $265,000 per year.
Romar is 196-143 in an 11-year head coaching career that includes three seasons each at Pepperdine and Saint Louis. He is 103-55 in five years at UW, rebuilding the Husky program after Bob Bender was fired in 2002 following three straight losing seasons. Romar led Washington to the Sweet 16 in 2005 and 2006.
UW stumbled to a 19-13 record a year ago, failing to qualify for any postseason tournament despite high expectations. But with all but lottery-pick center Spencer Hawes back from that team, the Huskies have legitimate hopes of returning to postseason play in 2008.
UW officials said athletic director Todd Turner and Romar each preferred to hold off on comment until the contract is officially announced.
Last October, in confirming that a new agreement had been reached, Turner said that Romar is "the perfect guy at Washington. He reflects our values, he's a doggone good coach, he's motivated about being here and he's just an extraordinary man."
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies