Contract finalized for MU men's basketball coach Mike Anderson

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 | 4:54 p.m. CDT; updated 6:41 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 14, 2009

COLUMBIA — The new contract for Missouri men's basketball coach Mike Anderson was finalized Monday, nearly two weeks after the two sides agreed to terms.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches' 2009 Co-National Coach of the Year will receive a guaranteed $1.55 million per year over seven years, though $200,000 will be withheld annually for the first four years as part of a "stay clause." The majority of the salary is fixed, though the base salary of $275,000 will be subject to review each year.

The guaranteed amount makes Anderson the third-highest paid basketball coach in the Big 12 Conference, behind Kansas' Bill Self ($3 million) and Texas' Rick Barnes ($2 million), according to The Oklahoman. Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel also ranks third among Big 12 football coaches with a salary of $2.5 million annually thanks to his new contract that was created last November.

"I think it gives you a certain level of confidence and comfort that you've got two of the marquee coaches that are doing a good job that are being well-received, respected by your fans, respected by your students," Mike Alden, the Missouri athletics director, said. "I think it's real solid for Mizzou to know that out there in the future you've got two of the better coaches in the country coaching."

Additionally, the athletic department will give Anderson membership at Old Hawthorne, a courtesy car provided through a dealership, and $20,000 in discretionary funds for certain miscellaneous items, such as new equipment. The contract also features several incentives — such as $350,000 for a national title and $150,000 for average attendance over 13,000 — giving it a maximum value of $2.1 million.

Several people in the community and within MU faculty have raised concerns about the high price of retaining Anderson. Alden said the state of the economy was an important issue for him and others as the contract was being created.

"The response to them would be you absolutely understand if people are concerned about those types of expenditures," Alden said. "At the same time, you hope that you can also say, 'Hey we're trying to recognize that what we're trying to do is continue to improve and this is part of the market that we deal in.'"

Alden said the completion of Anderson's contract puts him in the same company as Missouri coaches Tim Jamieson (baseball), Brian Smith (wrestling), Bryan Blitz (women's soccer) and Pinkel.

"There have been a lot of big-time schools that have tried to attract them and they've tried to draw them away," Alden said. "But they have chosen to be at Mizzou, and in most of those cases, if not all, for lesser monies."

The contract represents an increase of nearly $700,000 from Anderson's original contract, along with an additional $135,000 in the restructured incentives package.

The university would be required to pay a $500,000 buyout to fire Anderson without cause after the contract's first year. Another university would be required to pay the cost of two years' base salary, or $550,000 to hire Anderson. If the buyout occurred in the final two years of the contract, the amount would be prorated.

The contract also gives an additional total of $600,000 to Missouri's five assistant men's basketball coaches, Melvin Watkins, Matt Zimmerman, T.J. Cleveland, David Deets and Jeff Daniels.

"What we want to make sure is not only Coach Anderson but that team of coaches stay here at Mizzou for a long time," Alden said. "I'm glad that we were able to recognize that as well."

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