Colorado State Extends Coach Tim Miles
Miles, 44, guided the Rams to a 19-13 record, fourth-place finish in the Mountain West Conference and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament this past season, his fourth at the school. The Rams went 7-25 overall and 0-16 in the MWC in Miles' first season as coach.
Miles' previous contract, which was set to expire in 2013, paid the coach $420,000 a year. The new deal bumps his salary for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins July 1, to $585,000, then increases his base pay to $750,000 a year for the remaining four years, an annual salary that will make him Colorado State University's highest-paid coach. Football coach Steve Fairchild signed a five-year contract when he was hired in December 2007 that pays him $700,000 a year.
"If you look at the progress over the last four years and look at the excitement the men's basketball team brought to campus this year with 19 wins, two sellouts and becoming an NCAA (Tournament) bubble team and all the exposure that came with it, those are all positive factors leaning toward a feeling that we've got somebody here we want to keep," Kowalczyk said. "We felt this was a good investment and the right time to make it."
Miles, as a rule, won't comment on job offers unless he has a "bona fide" offer, and Kowalczyk said he was not aware of any schools trying to lure away his coach. He called the extension a "preemptory strike" to ensure Miles will stick around for a while. The new deal includes a $250,000 longevity clause payable to Miles should he stay at CSU through the 2015-16 season, when the extension expires.
At CSU, his teams have made steady progress, going 7-25 in 2007-08, 9-22 in 2008-09, 16-16 in 2009-10 and 19-13 last year with the most wins since the 1998-99 team went 19-11 in the first of Ritchie McKay's two seasons as coach.
Average attendance at CSU men's basketball games this past season increased by an average of 1,487 fans to 4,880, the highest since the 1999-2000 season, and sellout crowds of 8,745 came to Moby Arena to watch the Rams' games this season against nationally ranked opponents Brigham Young on Jan. 22 and San Diego State on Feb. 2.
The Rams also have made significant academic progress under Miles, scoring a perfect 1,000 in 2009-10 on the NCAA's Academic Progress Report. CSU faced academic sanctions, including the loss of a scholarship under the APR, when Miles took over the program.
"You look at the journey, from where we started to where we are now, to where we want to be, and I think we've shown progress in all areas of the program, from academics to athletics to citizenship," Miles said. "But make no bones about it; we want to be in the NCAA Tournament."
The pay increase will put Miles on par with most of his MWC peers for the coming season. UNLV recently signed new coach Dave Rice to a contract worth about $550,000, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. San Diego State's Steve Fisher and TCU's Jim Christian also make about $500,000 a year in base pay, according to published reports. New Mexico's Steve Alford is at the top of the MWC pay scale, with annual compensation, including bonus incentives, that paid him more than $1.1 million for the 2009-10 season, according to the Albuquerque Journal. At the lower end of the MWC are new Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt, with a base salary of $190,000 and incentives worth up to $645,000 a year, the school announced when he was hired, and Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds, whose base salary is $382,884, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette."When you have an asset, someone who's valuable to the program and to the university, you need to do what you can to try to keep them in place, and Tim has shown his worth as a coach, mentor, teacher and representative of CSU," Kowalczyk said. "There's a market rate for researchers, and there's a market rate for basketball coaches. We felt this was a show of commitment."