MU extends Alden's contract until 2017

Thursday, August 6, 2009 | 8:10 p.m. CDT; updated 1:21 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 7, 2009

COLUMBIA — The MU Board of Curators agreed Thursday to extend MU Athletic Director Mike Alden's contract from 2012 until 2017.

The extension will offer no raise for Alden, whose base salary will remain at $287,375. However, the contract includes several incentive-based bonuses.

Mike Alden's Bonuses

On Dec. 19, 2002, Mike Alden and the Curators of the University of Missouri agreed to a contract extension. In that contract, there were new additional terms — incentive bonuses — for successes of two MU athletic programs. These were restated in Thursday's contract extension.

Men's Basketball

  • $15,000 for the men's basketball team appearing in the NCAA tournament.
  • $15,000 if the men's basketball team appears in the NCAA tournament's "Sweet Sixteen."
  • A bonus of two month's salary, $47,895, if the men's basketball team advances to the Final Four.
  • $60,000 if the men's basketball team wins the national championship.

Football team:

  • A bonus of one month's salary, $23,947, if the football team appears in a non-BCS bowl game.
  • A bonus of two month's salary, $47,895, if the football team wins a Big 12 Conference championship and/or appears in a BCS bowl game.
  • $60,000 if the football team wins the national championship.


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In the new contract, payments will be made to Alden if the athletic department reaches academic and financial goals set out in annual meetings between Alden and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton. The payments will go into an "incentive and retention account" that Alden cannot access until 2014.

If academic goals are met, Alden is entitled to a bonus of two months salary. Half would be paid to Alden at the end of the fiscal year and half would be placed in the account. If the financial goals are met, Alden is entitled up to three months salary, all of which would be paid to the retention account.

In the end, Alden could earn nearly $120,000 per year towards the retention account. On top of that, $100,000 will be deposited each year into the account by the university as a "retention incentive."

Along with the retention fund, the university will deposit $200,000 annually into an annuity for Alden. These deposits will be made until 2016 and can be accessed by Alden at any point during the contract.

Apart from his base salary, Alden will receive $50,000 annually for remaining the athletic director. That clause has been in place since 2002.

With the new extension, Alden could earn up to $757,375 per year, though he would not receive all of that money immediately. That figure does not include bonuses Alden could earn based on the performance of the MU football and men's basketball teams each season.

Deaton expressed his admiration of Alden's performance as athletic director in a release.

"Mike Alden's accomplishments at Mizzou have been nothing short of amazing," Deaton said. "He is responsible for building MU's Intercollegiate Athletics to its current status of being a national leader in Division I athletics. He has assembled an outstanding team of coaches, staff and student-athletes, who not only are committed to succeeding athletically, but also are committed to social responsibility and academic success. We hope extending Mike's contract will help assure this continued success in all areas."

Mary Jo Banken, executive director of the MU news bureau, said that the poor economy and the MU hiring freeze made it impossible for the university to increase Alden's base salary, but that the bonuses should make up for it.

Alden replaced former athletic director Joe Castiglione in 1998 when Castiglione accepted the same position at the University of Oklahoma. Before that, Alden had been the director of athletics at Southwest Texas State University since 1996 after spending 11 years working in the Arizona State University athletic department.

Contract extensions are nothing new for Alden. Since taking the MU athletic director job in 1998, he has had seven amendments to his initial contract. This contract extension will be his sixth.

In Alden's time as athletic irector, he has faced his fair share of criticism. Quin Snyder, who was Alden's pick to succeed legendary men's basketball coach Norm Stewart, was plagued by scandal during his time with the Tigers. Snyder resigned in 2006 after Alden reportedly sent broadcaster Gary Link to tell Snyder he would not be retained at the end of the season. Alden's handling of the situation put his job in jeopardy.

Alden kept his job though, and MU athletics has thrived recently. Last year, the Tigers won Big 12 tournament championships in basketball, softball and soccer, while the football reached its conference championship games. MU also became only the third Big 12 school to have a player drafted in the first round of the NBA, NFL and MLB drafts this year.


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