A handful of LSU coaches were cleared to receive raises and/or contract extensions at Friday's Board of Supervisors meeting, but one notable contract was not on the list.
The proposed three-year contract extension for women's basketball coach Nikki Fargas was not put before the board for approval. LSU senior associate athletic director Robert Munson said Friday afternoon that there are details to work through between LSU and Fargas, resulting in the contract proposal being removed from the board agenda. However, Munson said the basic structure of Fargas' new contract — a three-year extension through the 2021-22 season with no increase in her current $700,000 compensation package and a $200,000 buyout for LSU — is likely to remain the same.
"There are still some details we need to discuss with her and her agent," Munson said. "We hope to be able to present her contract at the next board meeting."
Fargas is 132-93 in seven seasons at LSU with six NCAA tournament appearances, though her teams have not been past the first round of the tournament since 2014. On her watch, the Lady Tigers reached the regional semifinals in 2013 and 2014.
Meanwhile, the board did quickly approve six new contracts, including a 47 percent increase in guaranteed total compensation and a one-year contract extension through 2020 for gymnastics coach D-D Breaux. Breaux, who will be entering her 42nd season in 2019, a record among Southeastern Conference coaches in any sport, will earn a guaranteed $405,000, up from $275,000 this past season, with a raise and some of her previously supplemental pay rolled in.
“I was overwhelmed with what they proposed to do,” Breaux said. “I’m honored and just feel like 41 years of hard work and dedication and commitment to LSU has paid off. I’m very excited to get going for another year.”
Breaux’s Tigers pulled off a trifecta this spring, winning the SEC regular-season and championship meet titles and reaching the NCAA Super Six for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
“She’s an icon,” athletic director Joe Alleva told the board. “Not just a great coach, but a tremendous ambassador not only for LSU but the whole state of Louisiana.”
The board also approved new contracts for:
- Chuck Winstead: LSU's longtime men's golf coach is now director of golf overseeing both the men's and women's programs. Winstead got a two-year extension through 2023 and a raise from $255,000 to $275,000.
- Garrett Runion: Previously the men's golf assistant, Runion is now the women's coach with a salary of $115,000 per year (up from $75,000 as an assistant) and a contract that runs through June 2021. Former LSU women's coach Karen Bahnsen, who retired in May after 34 seasons, was making $140,000.
- Russell Brock: The beach volleyball coach got a two-year extension through June 2020 and a raise from $80,500 to $100,000 per year.
- Julia and Michael Sell: LSU's married co-women's tennis coaches each got three-year contract extensions through June 2021. Their salaries of $125,000 per year each remain the same.
Tabled for the time being was a proposal to reduce Tiger Athletic Foundation Tradition Fund donations for two areas of Tiger Stadium for this coming football season, as well as a reduction in the cost of parking passes for two football lots on the west side of the campus. Also deferred was a proposal to allow the athletic director to set ticket prices for all sports other than football and to lower football ticket prices without full Board of Supervisors approval. The proposal called for the athletic director to proceed in those areas with only written approval from the LSU president, chairman of the Board of Supervisors and chairman of the athletic committee.
"We have six new board members and it was a lot for them to digest," Munson said. "We hope to bring it up at the next meeting."
As of now, ticket prices, Tradition Fund payments and football parking prices remain at the same levels they were at for the 2017 season.
Also approved by the board is a cap on postseason compensation for assistant coaches in sports other than football. The caps are 37 percent for baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, volleyball/beach volleyball, soccer, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis; 55.5 percent for men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s track and field.
"I want to thank the board for what was approved today and I look forward to working with them in the future," said in a text message Friday after the meeting.