The cost of nearly everything is rising with Old Dominion's impending move to Conference USA. Compared to the amount the Monarchs were paying former men's basketball coach Blaine Taylor, however, the school isn't extending itself as far in its deal with new coach Jeff Jones.
Jones and ODU agreed to a five-year deal that will pay him $440,000 annually, plus a yet-to-be determined amount for radio, television, marketing and performance bonuses, according to a letter of agreement obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. A formal contract has yet to be signed and may contain additional details.
Taylor made just under $750,000 in 2011, the last year for which tax records are availablefor the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation, which provided the bulk of his salary. He was fired in February, a month prior to the finish of his 12th season.
Taylor received $420,000 in 2011 from the foundation, which is private. Jones' deal calls for a base salary of $206,200, with "supplemental income" of $233,800 paid by ODAF, athletic director Wood Selig said.
The contracts are structured differently, however. Selig said Taylor received his annual ODAF bonus once a year, around April 1,and had to be employed by the university to get it. Jones's ODAF money will be rolled into his bi-weekly salary.
Selig said the change was made at the suggestion of the attorney general and ODU's legal counsel.
"This way, it's easier for Jeff and easier to manage from an accounting standpoint," Selig said.
Taylor received $60,000 for TV, radio and marketing, based on his last contract. A similar deal would bring Jones's total package to around $500,000.
While that's still significantly less than Taylor made, Selig pointed out that Taylor was in his third contract at ODU.
"If Jeff stays 12 years and gets to his third contract, I imagine it will look a lot different than this first," Selig said.
Jones said recently that he and Selig had not had time to sit down to complete his contract, but that he doesn't anticipate any problems.
Jones, 52, has 21 years of head coaching experience. He came to ODU after 13 years at American University and also coached eight years at the University of Virginia.
The apparent savings ODU is realizing in the head coaching position does not mean ODU is "sitting back, banking money," Selig said. The pool of money available for assistant basketball coaches has been increased slightly, he said.
ODU is also basically paying two basketball staffs through the end of the fiscal year, Selig said. Assistant coaches Jim Corrigan, Rob Wilkes and director of basketball operations Drew Williams were not retained by Jones but will be paid through the end of their contracts.
The university has also agreed to the outlines of a settlement with Taylor, Selig said. Taylor had two years remaining on his contract.
The amount of the settlement has not been finalized, Selig said. Taylor's base salary was $208,000, and according to his contract, if he was fired without cause, he would be owed two years' salary.
Poor on-court performance alone does not constitute cause, according to the contract. Though ODU's record was 2-20 when Taylor was fired, school officials said his dismissal was "not based solely on wins and losses."
Ed Miller, (757) 446-2372, firstname.lastname@example.org