It took a whopper of a contract to land Will Wade.
LSU's new men's basketball coach signed a six-year deal worth $15 million ($2.5 million per year), and both sides are on the hook for the entire amount.
The contract does not include a buyout. Wade, 34, would owe the school his remaining salary if he were to leave for another job, and the school would owe him the entire amount if he were to be fired.
Wade's contract was obtained by The Advocate through a public records request. The contract must be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors at its meeting next month.
Wade will make $1 million more than what he was due this coming season at his previous school, Virginia Commonwealth, and his $2.5 million annual salary is $1 million more than what former coach Johnny Jones made in 2016-17.
The contract includes a $1 million buyout that LSU will pay or has paid to VCU. The school will also pay VCU $250,000 if the programs don't agree on a home-and-home series — something that was in Wade's VCU contract. Wade's deal with the Tigers runs to June 30, 2023.
Wade's contract also calls for $150,000 more in academic and athletic incentives than Jones' deal did. Wade's total incentives package is worth $800,000. The additional incentives include recognition for national and conference coach of the year awards.
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Jones had two years remaining on the five-year contract extension he received in October 2014. LSU will pay Jones his base salary of $400,000 per year for each of the next two seasons, an amount that gets alleviated by his pay in his new job as an assistant at Nevada.
Jones went 90-72 in five seasons at his alma mater. Wade led VCU to the NCAA tournament in each of his two seasons at the school. His team went 26-9 last season and was eliminated by Saint Mary’s 85-77 in an NCAA first-round game.
After the 2015-16 season, Wade received an eight-year contract from VCU that paid him $1.4 million in base salary and supplemental pay as well as incentives that totaled $140,000 this season, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
He was scheduled to earn $1.5 million next season, the same amount Jones was paid and was set to make in each of the final two years of his contract.
The LSU Board of Supervisors on June 22 approved the contracts for two members of Wade's first staff: Tony Benford and Greg Heiar. Benford’s three-year contract calls for him to receive $325,000 per year in total compensation, while Heiar will get $300,000 per year on a two-year deal.
The contract for assistant Bill Armstrong wasn’t on the June agenda because he was hired in early May, but his two-year deal calls for him to earn $225,000 for the upcoming season and $250,000 for 2018-19.
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