Note: This story appears in the Sunday, May 26 newspaper on Page B1.
Ohio University will invest more than $600,000 this year alone in new men’s basketball coach Jeff Boals.
Ohio Athletics, per a public information request from The Messenger, released a copy of Boals’ employment agreement form this week. The agreement was effective starting on March 18, 2019.
The basics of Boals’ contract include an initial five-year term — from March 18, 2019 through April 1, 2024 — with no included clauses for an automatic extension. Boals’ guaranteed base compensation per year will be $581,000 which — according to the document — could increase each year after “an annual determination” following each completed basketball season.
Boals’ yearly base guarantee is the highest for any coach, in any sport, in Ohio University history.
Boals spent the previous three seasons as the head coach at Stony Brook where he compiled a 55-41 record and was guaranteed an annual base salary of $365,000. Saul Phillips, the previous Ohio head coach fired in March, was making a guarantee base of $ 550,000 per year.
The buyout clauses in Boals’ agreement remain consistent with the parameters issued in Phillips’ contract. If Ohio fires Boals “without” cause during the first year of his employment at Ohio then the university would be on the hook for $950,000. That number drops by $100,000 each year that Boals remains at Ohio. So, for instance, if Ohio fired Boals without cause in the third year of his contract then Ohio would be liable for $750,000.
If Boals were to terminate the contract early of his own accord, the buyout numbers are the same. If Boals left sometime in his first year, the buyout is $950,000. If he left in year four, the number drops to $650,000.
Both buyout numbers — on the university’s end and the coach’s — are identical to the numbers laid out in Phillips’ contract.
Also included in Boals’ contract were two one-time payments. First, Boals was granted a “signing bonus” of $25,000. Second, Ohio agreed to pay the $50,000 buyout to Stony Brook that Boals was responsible for per his previous contract there. In 2014, Ohio also agreed to pay the buyout for Phillips to leave North Dakota State, but there was no signing bonus included in Phillips’ contract.
Boals’ employment agreement comes complete with the usual assortment of incentives. The complete list of incentives includes:
* $5,000 for a winning conference record
* $5,000 for winning the MAC Coach of the Year award
* $5,000 for reaching the “agreed upon annual APR score” for men’s basketball
* $10,000 for winning the MAC Tournament championship
* $10,000 for winning the MAC regular season championship (or sharing it)
* $5,000 for an appearance in the postseason NIT
* $10,000 for playing in the championship game of the postseason NIT
* $10,000 for secured an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament
* $10,000 for each win in the NCAA Tournament
* $30,000 for reaching the final 16 team round of the NCAA Tournament
* $75,000 for reaching the Final Four
* $100,000 for winning the NCAA National Championship
The incentive list is similar to the one Phillips had in his contract with a couple of differences. First, the amount rewarded for an NIT appearance, the Sweet 16, Final Four and national title clauses is higher — in general a 20-30 percent increase. Second, Phillips did not have incentive clauses in his contract for winning MAC Coach of the Year or reaching the determined APR threshold. There were no incentive clauses in Phillips’ contract that did not appear in the agreement that Boals signed.
The other difference in the incentive lists between the two contracts is that Ohio has now added language to the agreement that states the coach must repay those incentive bonuses if those achievements are “subsequently vacated but he MAC or NCAA due to conduct that occurred while serving as the Head Coach.”
Boals will also be entitled to a $750/month expense for the use of a car. Boals will also receive one “appropriate club membership” and moving expenses. Phillips was granted the same car stipend and moving expenses, and was granted “one local country club membership.”
Boals’ employment agreement also included a section detailing the ways he was able to generate outside revenue not addressed in the contract. This includes things like working at youth camps, coaching clinics, television and radio, endorsements, consultation contracts, speeches and appearances. Boals is required by the contract to report “on or before Aug. 31” of each year on “all athletically related outside income” to the university. There was no such section covering outside income in Phillips’ contract.
Lastly, Boals’ employment agreement states he will have a pool of $341,000 (per year) with which he can hire his coaching staff. The number of positions is up to Boals and Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. The assistant pool is the highest in men’s basketball history at Ohio, and a 26.3 percent increase from the allowance for the previous staff. The staff allowance under Phillips was $270,000 per year.