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WVU basketball: New deal bumps Huggins’ pay to $3 million

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University amended the contract for men's basketball Coach Bob Huggins on Tuesday and insured the former Mountaineers captain can coach through at least 2018 and be involved with the school for five years after that.

The deal, announced Wednesday, was reported by the Daily Mail last month. It specifically outlines the next 11 years.

"His passion, caring and love for the university and the state of West Virginia is incredible," Athletic Director Oliver Luck said. "We look forward to many more years of successful Mountaineer basketball under his guidance."

Huggins' annual salary jumps to $3 million this season and will see annual raises of $100,000 in 2013-14; $150,000 in 2014-15; $75,000 in 2015-16; $250,000 in 2016-17; and $175,000 in 2017-18. After the 2018 season, where Huggins will make $3.5 million, he'll move into a non-coaching emeritus position at WVU and focus on fundraising and development.

In the emeritus position, his combined salary of deferred compensation and base pay will begin at $550,000 and lower to $400,000, $300,000, $125,000 and $125,000. The deferred compensation is taken from his coaching salary.

However, Huggins can choose to enter the emeritus position earlier or later, as long as there is an agreement between Huggins and the athletic director. If Huggins wants to continue coaching, he must tell the school by Sept. 1 of the fifth year in the six-year coaching arrangement. He'd have to make a similar announcement every Sept. 1 to coach the following season.

Whether as coach or an emeritus employee, Huggins will work with WVU through June 30, 2023.

"I feel blessed to be able to end my coaching career at my alma mater - the place that all West Virginians love," Huggins said. "I'm very fortunate to work for an administration that shows our passion for this university and this state. It's rare for a university to redo an existing contract to make sure that their people are taken care of and reassured to coach at that institution."

Apart from the pay raises and the emeritus position, the contract features only minor adjustments and updates. The annual $100,000 retention incentive was removed and the buyout for firing Huggins without cause was changed and could now be as large as $6 million. In the previous agreement, it was a mutual $4 million fee.

He also now receives four plane tickets for games not played in Morgantown.

The most unique part of the new contract deals with his incentives. Huggins is to be paid $25,000 every time he beats Big 12 Conference opponent Kansas in the regular season. He'll have two tries every season in the league's double round robin scheduling.

All of his other performance incentives, for things like winning coach of the year awards or selling a certain amount of season tickets or particular scores in the Academic Progress Rating, are now doubled, except one.

A national title is now worth $200,000. Previously, it was part of a cumulative bonus for winning games in the NCAA Tournament and would have paid him $165,000. In the new contract, a national title would be worth $430,000 - $230,000 for wins leading to the national championship game and $200,000 for winning it.

Huggins was making $2.3 million this season before the amendment. He will be 70 years old in Sept. 2023.

* * *

HUGGINS ANNOUNCED the signing of the fourth and final player in the 2013 recruiting class.

Devin Williams, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward from Cincinnati, joins forwards Elijah Macon and Nathan Adrian and center Brandon Watkins, whose additions were previously announced.

Williams is playing this season at Montverde Academy, in Montverde, Fla. Last season, Williams averaged 15.2 points and 10.5 rebounds at Cincinnati's Withrow High.  He was a first-team All-Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference pick and made the Cincinnati Enquirer's Division I All-Area team.

Williams chose WVU over Ohio State, Memphis, UCLA and North Carolina State. Rivals.com ranks Williams No. 11 nationally at center. Scout.com ranks him No. 22 among power forwards and ESPN's lists him No. 22 at the position. Each ranks him among the nation's top 100 players.

"Devin not only brings a great amount of size but an unusual amount of physicality for a player coming out of high school," Huggins said. "Devin should be one of the rare freshmen who will not have to make the physical adjustments that most freshmen have to make. He's a tremendous rebounder and interior player."


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