May 1, 2008 in Sports

Bennett makes million

By The Spokesman-Review
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(Full-size photo)

PULLMAN – In his first year as men’s head basketball coach, Washington State’s Tony Bennett was paid $350,000. In his second year, his contract gave him $800,000.

Now, for his third season, Bennett will be guaranteed $1 million, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

Bennett took the reigns of the WSU program in 2006 and took the Cougars to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 13 years. This past season, the Cougars’ run ended with a loss to North Carolina in WSU’s first appearance in the Sweet 16.

On Wednesday, the university released Bennett’s newly amended contract to The Seattle Times. His collateral compensation was raised from $400,000 to $600,000, according to the newspaper. With $200,000 base salary and his extra $200,000 for each year he stays with WSU, Bennett is guaranteed to bring home seven figures in his third year as head coach.

“It’s well worth the investment,” WSU athletics director Jim Sterk told the Times. “Tony’s done a great job in representing us, both personally and professionally. He’s someone we want to continue building the program with.”

Sterk did not immediately return a phone message from The Spokesman-Review.

Bennett has monetary incentives written into his contract. With the Cougars’ Sweet 16 appearance in March, he took home an extra $50,000.

Nevertheless, $1 million is still likely less than the cash Bennett would have received at several of the colleges rumored to have had an interest in the 38-year-old coach.

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