Oregon Rewards Kent with New Contract

EUGENE, Ore. — University of Oregon director of athletics Pat Kilkenny and men's basketball coach Ernie Kent have reached an agreement in principle on a new five-year contract that will keep Kent at his alma mater through the 2011-12 season.

Kent's total guaranteed annual compensation will be $1 million. His annual university salary will remain at $150,000, which is included in his guaranteed base contract that has been increased to $800,000, from $650,000. Supplemental compensation will account for an additional $200,000, adding up to the $1 million total.

In addition, performance incentives, such as postseason wins, could push the net worth of the deal to nearly $1.3 million annually.

For the 2006-07 scholastic year, Kent will earn an estimated $897,000, which breaks down to the $650,000 guaranteed base, $148,000 compensation from season ticket sales and $89,000 in performance bonuses related to the team's showings in the Pac-10 and NCAA tournaments. The compensation from season ticket sales, which was not guaranteed in the previous contract, is guaranteed in the new deal at a minimum of $150,000.

The contract also contains a clause stipulating the guaranteed payment of $1 million if the University terminates the contract prior to its expiration. Kent does not have a buy-out clause in the contract, should he leave the University before the end of 2011-12 season.

Oregon is coming off one of the best seasons in school history. The Ducks were 29-8, winning 29 games for just the third time in school history and advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight for the second time this decade. In addition, Oregon is one of only 15 schools nationally to advance to two NCAA Regional Finals this decade (Arizona, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, UCLA).

The Ducks also won the Pacific-10 Conference Tournament for the second time under Kent, and Oregon is the only school in the league to have won that event twice since it was reinstated in 2002. Kent is now the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 tournament play, posting a 76.9 winning percentage (10-3), ahead of Arizona's Lute Olson at 72.7 percent (16-6).

In his 10 years at Oregon, Kent, 52, has posted a 193-120 record (.617) and ranks second all-time in wins at Oregon to Hall of Fame coach Howard Hobson, who won 212 games in 11 seasons. Overall in his 16-year head coaching career, Kent has a 283-200 record (.586).

During his tenure, Kent has produced three NBA first round draft choices and four All-Americans. He is the only man to have led Oregon to four NCAA tournament appearances in school history.

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