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Stoops’ new $1 million salary irks regent

UA president defends football coach’s pay raise

University of Arizona football coach Mike Stoops will earn $1 million for the 2009 season and get a $100,000 raise each of the following four years, under a new contract extension approved by the Arizona Board of Regents.

The decision was not unanimous. Regents voted 6 to 1 Thursday to approve Stoops’ pay increase, with Dennis DeConcini voting against it.

“I find it hard to believe we’re going to approve this when we’re facing the (economic) problems we’re facing now,” DeConcini said.

The money will be paid by the UA athletic department, which operates independently from the rest of the university.

UA President Robert N. Shelton said bumping Stoop’s salary from $685,000 to $1 million would put him near the middle salary range for Pac-10 programs.

“He’s taken a program that was not reflective of the quality of this institution and he’s turned it around,” Shelton said, asking for the increase.

Stoops, 47, led UA to an 8-5 record last season and a victory over BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl – the Wildcats’ first postseason appearance, a win, in 10 years. Stoops, 25-34 in five seasons, made $685,288 a year in his old contract.

His base salary in 2009 will be $500,000 and he will make $500,000 for peripheral and related duties. His extension is until 2013, when he will make $1.4 million a year if he stays that long.

UA also is scheduled to pay new basketball coach Sean Miller $2 million a year as part of a five-year deal worth $11 million.

After the meeting, DeConcini said the contention that coach’s salaries are funded from ticket sales was a specious argument.

“These are public funds that come under the regents’ approval and we have an obligation to review and consider them well,” he said. “When we’re in the middle of a financial crisis and we don’t have to do it because he has 18 months left on his contract, well, it just looks bad to the public like, ‘They don’t care, it’s just another million dollars.’ ”

Under his new contract, Stoops would stand to make up to an additional $655,000 a year if he reaches these incentives:

• Athletic: Participation in a preseason game, $50,000; Pac-10 champion, $125,000; non-BCS bowl game, $75,000; BCS bowl other than national title game, $100,000; BCS national title game, $150,000

• BCS national rankings: 1-10, $50,000; 11-15, $40,000; 16-25; $30,000.

• Win-loss record for 12-game season (excludes preseason or bowls): 7-5, $40,000; 8-4, $50,000; 9-3, $60,000; 10-2, $70,000; 11-1, $80,000; 12-0, $90,000.

• Average home paid attendance: 48,001-50,000, $45,000; 50,000-plus, $60,0000

• Total season tickets sold: 35,000-40,000, $60,000; 40,000-45,000, $70,000; 45,001-plus, $80,000

• Coach of the year honors: Pac-10, $30,000; national, $50,000

If UA fires Stoops for cause, it is liable for salary due at the date of termination. If UA fires Stoops without cause, it must pay him one-half of the remaining value of the guaranteed compensation. If Stoops leaves before 2013, he must pay UA $250,000 in liquidated damages at Shelton’s discretion.



Estimated annual salaries of Pac-10 football coaches, not including incentives, according to published reports:

Coach, school Yearly salary

Pete Carroll, USC $4 million

Jeff Tedford, Cal $1.85 million

Steve Sarkisian, Wash. $1.75 million

Chip Kelly, Oregon $1.4 million

Rick Neuheisel, UCLA $1.25 million

Dennis Erickson, ASU $1.1 million

Mike Riley, Oregon St. $1.1 million

Mike Stoops, UA $1 million

Jim Harbaugh, Stanford $1 million

Paul Wulff, Washington St. $600,000

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