UW Extends Contract, Incentive Opportunities for Men's Basketball Coach

Nov. 19, 2001


Expressing confidence that Steve McClain can lead theUniversity of Wyoming men's basketball program into the top level of thesport, Athletics Director Lee Moon and President Philip L. Dubois haveextended McClain's contract through the 2009 season and have added to hiscontract incentives that would place him in the top 25 percent of basketballcoaches nationwide.

"For some time, fans of UW athletics programs have wondered aloud why wecan't attract and retain the kind of quality coaches who can build andmaintain nationally competitive teams," says Dubois. "Steve McClain is anexample of the kind of coach we were able to attract and who we intend toretain. Fans of UW men's basketball should look forward to the next eightyears. I do."

Under the contract announced today, and effective May 1, McClain's totalcompensation will increase, beginning July 1, from its current level of$372,000 to one that could be worth as much as $560,000 depending on hisability to meet a variety of incentives tied to public support for the men'sbasketball program. Those incentives include earning:

-- $20 for each season ticket sold in excess of 3,000 (an increase of $10from McClain's current contractual incentive for season ticket sales).

-- $.75 for each ticket (including UW student attendance) sold for allhome games, including the Casper Shootout, but excepting post-seasoncontests.

-- Net proceeds from one marquee away game to be scheduled jointly byMcClain and Moon. Additionally:
-- The UW Foundation will compensate McClain an amount of $25,000 peryear for 10 annual appearances in support of UW fundraising efforts.

-- A Coach's Circle, composed of no more than 50 Cowboy Joe Club members,who will be approached for individual contributions that will produce from$25,000 to $50,000 annually toward the McClain package over a five-yearperiod in exchange for specified benefits, such as UW basketball apparel,team travel, coach briefings, etc.

-- The UW Foundation will contribute $25,000 per year for each of fouryears to an annuity, which McClain will be able to access only after thefourth year of his contract extension

-- The revised contract increases the buyout amount a school would haveto pay forMcClain's services from $100,000 to $300,000 for the life of the contract.

According to Moon, the financial incentives added to McClain's existingcontract have been accomplished almost entirely through a creative mix ofprivate funding, a modest increase in ticket prices, and game-relatedrevenue sharing. Only $2,700 in state funding will be obligated through theshift of McClain's housing allowance to his base salary, a move that willenhance his retirement plan. "Tying a good deal of the contract's incentiveprovisions to ticket sales and to a marquee away game," noted Moon, "willreward Steve for the kind of good scheduling against name opponents whogenerate fan interest and attendance."

"Taken as a whole, this compensation plan will place Coach McClain nearthe top among coaches in the Mountain West Conference and in the top 25percent of coaches nationwide," says Dubois. "Its success depends on thesuccess of the UW men's basketball program and, in large measure, theparticipation of its fans. Yes, ticket prices will be increased, and, yes,we are asking fans of UW basketball to invest in this program by purchasingmore season and single-game tickets than they have in recent years.

"I don't know if we can recreate that glorious year, 1943, when theUniversity of Wyoming stood atop the college basketball world," Dubois says,"but today's announcement is our way of saying we won't rule it out."