For the third straight year, athletics director Jamie Pollard has reworked men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg's contract.
The latest tweak, on the heels of a Sweet Sixteen appearance and Big 12 tournament victory, increases Hoiberg's annual salary from $1.6 million to $2.2, plus bonus payments from the achievement of incentives.
Hoiberg's contract will increase by $100,000 each season through the 2022-23 season, eventually paying out $2.6 million.
Per USA Today records, Hoiberg's contract places him even with Oklahoma's Lon Kruger for No. 17 nationally — although bonuses and other payments can alter that — while Oklahoma State's Travis Ford, Texas' Rick Barnes and Kansas' Bill Self each earn above $2.45 million, with Self bringing in $4.75 million in 2014, No. 3 nationally.
"We recognize the tremendous accomplishments that have become commonplace during Fred's tenure," Pollard said in a press release. "We play an exciting brand of basketball that has brought Hilton Magic back to life. Equally important, his players have been good students and ambassadors for the institution."
All other contract terms remain the same. Hoiberg signed a 10-year extenuation last May, but the number to know here is his buyout: $2 million to leave for another school, $500,000 to head to the NBA.
Neither figure is significant. If Hoiberg were to leave beloved Ames, the thinking goes, it'd only be for an NBA team, and it's highly unlikely a $500,000 hit would scare off a team owner.
At least eight NBA coaches make less than $2.2 million, but it's not the money the Mayor's thinking about. If Hoiberg really wants to coach in the NBA, he'd do it for coin on par with his paycheck in Ames. He'd fit in with the NBA community, with his penchant of mismatches, hybrid lineups and love for advanced analytics and shot geos. If that's something Hoiberg wants, and if the opportunity presents itself, there's really nothing Iowa State can do about it.
Hence the pay raise. Pollard for the third straight year has shown Hoiberg how much he wants him, paying him more than football coach Paul Rhoads. The yearly love will buy Pollard favor whenever the day comes that Hoiberg is presented with the chance — interview, early discussions — to coach an NBA team. Pollard can point to the springs of 2012, 2013 and 2014 and say, "That doesn't happen anywhere else."
Pollard could have tried to put this $600,000 into Hoiberg's buyout purse. Spread through the next nine years, that's a total of $5.4 million, which would absolutely cause an NBA owner to balk. But there's no way Hoiberg would sign off on that, effectively sealing off the possibility of ever jumping to the NBA.
This was the best Polllard could do: Keep showing Hoiberg the love, put him near the top of the national salary ranks and make him the "it" coach on campus both in status and pay.
"We are pleased to come to terms on a revised contact with Coach Hoiberg and his agent so quickly," Pollard said. "We hope our commitment to him will keep him at Iowa State University for the rest of his career."