UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford breaks down finances in decision to fire Derek Kellogg
When Massachusetts Athletic Director Ryan Bamford took to his conference call less than a day after making the decision to fire former Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg, finances were rightly a major part of the discussion.
Kellogg, who spent nine seasons coaching at UMass, signed a five-year extension back in 2014 that was to last through the 2018-19 season.
With the decision to cut ties with Kellogg, the former coach is still owed the remaining money for the last two years of his contract. According to Bamford, Kellogg’s buyout is worth $1.16 million and will be split up over the next two years.
Additionally, there is an off-set in his contract that if he gains employment in basketball the amount he makes over the next two years will be deducted from his buyout.
Bamford did not have any concrete details on the assistant coaches and any of their buyouts, citing that they may be retained by whatever coach is hired. If there are any buyouts for the assistants, they will be paid prior June 30 when the University’s books close for the 2017 fiscal year.
“I talked to our chancellor about it, and made sure he was comfortable with a plan that allowed us to be solvent through the next two years as we look at paying out Derek over those next two years,” Bamford told reporters during his conference call Friday morning. “I gave that commitment to our chancellor when I met with him and we went through the finances of it. He felt comfortable with it.”
“I’m confident it’s going to be a cost neutral decision over the fiscal year 2018 and 2019 when we owe Derek that money and that the total value of his contract and the assistant coaches contracts versus the budgeted for basketball, we won’t see an uptick in spending there,” Bamford added.
With the decision to let Kellogg go now behind them, Bamford and the University are shifting their focus to finding the next coach of the men’s basketball program. To aid in the process, UMass has hired Fogler Consulting to help seek out candidates to the next coach. The consulting agency is headed up by former Associated Press National Coach of the Year Eddie Fogler and specializes in college basketball coach recruitment. Bamford will make the decision as to who the next coach is, with Fogler is in place to coordinate the process.
Bamford has known Fogler for years and his happy with the move to add him to the process.
“What Eddie does, what any search firm will do for us as a public university, they give us protection in the process in that if I’m doing a search on my own I can’t necessarily protect certain candidates because I’m an employee at a state university,” Bamford said. “At the end of the day, there are say for example, sitting head coaches. Eddie can talk to those guys and protect them in the process and share that information with me.”
The service Fogler provides will come at a cost for UMass. The University will pay Fogler $25,000 for his efforts at the end of the search. According to Bamford, the fee for Fogler’s services has been raised privately from unrestricted gifts and will not come out of the state’s funds or from the basketball program.
Although the search for the next coach hasn’t been kicked into high gear just yet, Bamford already has plans for what the next coach’s contract will look like.
Bamford envisions the prospective five-year deal to have an annual salary in the $800,000-$900,000 range along with some bonus structure attached to the contract.
“The next contract will likely be a five-year contract. It will need to be cost neutral for us as a program in the next few years because of Derek’s buyout, so that means that the value of the contract will increase in year’s three, four and five,” Bamford said.
“In terms of a full budget, it is a five-year investment that we’re going to make in this position and in our coaching staff,” he added. “I want to create something where the next person has the ability to make money on success in ties to our success and really work with them to invest in the program to have success.”
For now, Bamford is focused on finding the next coach and doing so in the most financially efficient way for all parties involved.
“I want to make sure that we’re fiscally responsible in the next two years to make sure we are meeting our budget as laid it out for the University and the following three years we have a little bit more of an opportunity to be creative and drive the value of the contract up so that we’re a little bit higher than the median in our own league,” Bamford said.
“We won’t be at the high end but we’ll be higher than the mean or the median in the league which I think is important for a job like ours.”
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @aaucoin34.