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USF announces extensions for Holtz, Heath

USF athletics has announced new six-year contracts for its two most prominent coaches, giving football coach Skip Holtz an extension that will pay him $2-million a year and men's basketball coach Stan Heath a new deal that raises his compensation to $1.13-million.

Both coaches are now signed through the 2017-18 school year, with aggressive buyout clauses to help lessen the chance of them leaving for other schools. Both coaches would have to give USF $1-million if they leave in the next two seasons, with that buyout dropping to $500,000 for the following two years.

"We're pleased to be able to extend Coach Holtz and Coach Heath," athletic director Doug Woolard said in a statement. "They're great representatives for both USF and their respective programs. I have great confidence in the leadership they are providing and the future of both our football and men's basketball programs."

Heath's deal was no surprise, after the Bulls made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years, getting their first two NCAA wins before losing to Ohio in the third round. His previous deal, a five-year contract signed in 2010, averaged $900,000, while the new deal averages $1.19-million, an increase of 32 percent, similar to the raise he got in 2010 from his original deal, which averaged $675,000.

"I'm very appreciative of the commitment President (Judy) Genshaft, Doug and our Trustees have made, not just to me, but to our facilities and our staff," said Heath, eager to play in a Sun Dome that underwent a $35 million renovation. "I'm pleased with the progress of the program and I think we're going in the right direction."

Holtz is coming off a disappointing season in which the Bulls went 1-6 in Big East play and failed to reach a bowl game, and his extension is more about resetting a buyout at $1-million and giving his assistants a combined $200,000 raise. His new contract is barely a raise -- he was due to make $5.7-million in the remaining three years on his contract, but now will make a minimum of $6-million; he is only eligible for annual raises if he meets at least one contract incentive, though that could be a simple as reaching a bowl game.

Both coaches have larger pools with which to pay their assistants -- Holtz now has $1.85-million, increasing $100,000 each of the next two years. Heath had a pool of $435,000 for his three full-time assistants and a director of basketball operations; in his new deal, that pool is $520,000, an increase of about 20 percent.

The coaches have high-dollar incentives for postseason success -- Holtz's biggest incentives doubled from his previous deal, escalating from $25,000 for a bowl appearance to $200,000 for a Big East title and BCS bowl appearance; that goes up to $400,000 if the Bulls play for a national title, and $500,000 if they were to win in the championship game. Any incentive he triggers is also added to the next year's base compensation, so a national title in 2012 would increase the value of his s contract by $3-million.

Heath can earn $100,000 for a Big East regular-season title and another $100,000 for winning the Big East tournament; absent that, he'll earn $50,000 for making the NCAA Tournament and $25,000 for each win once he's in the tournament. Should his team make the Postseason NIT, there's a $10,000 bonus.

He said his team's newfound success drew interest from other programs, but he already had good reason to stay in Tampa.

"I couldn't ask for a better situation. There's a lot of momentum going," Heath said. "There were a couple of people knocking on my door, just inquiring, but my heart is here. My family likes it here, I've got a son at USF and another son going into his senior year. We're building some roots right here. I would deeply want to be here, hopefully as much as USF wants me here."

[Last modified: Friday, July 6, 2012 7:21pm]

    

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