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Eastern Washington football coach Aaron Best volunteers to take 10% pay cut to help athletic department

Eastern Washington football coach Aaron Best watches scrimmage on Aug. 17, 2019, at Roos Field in Cheney. (James Snook / For The Spokesman-Review)

Some NCAA Division I coaches and administrators have elected to take pay cuts to help make up for their respective athletic departments’ revenue shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Others, like Iowa State and Louisville, have implemented nonvoluntary departmentwide cuts.

Pac-12 and Big 12 conference offices have also taken belt-tightening measures.

Eastern Washington University hasn’t requested a departmentwide pay cut from its coaches, but head football coach Aaron Best appears to have volunteered anyway.

Best took to Twitter on Thursday, announcing he was taking an “indefinite” 10% pay cut in an effort to help the school and athletic department.

“Trying times for all,” Best posted. “I am taking steps to do my part for our university and department by taking an indefinite 10% paycut of salary to better the welfare of our university, department, football program, and student-assistants. Moving ahead I urge you all to do your part when you can!”

EWU athletic director Lynn Hickey responded to Best’s gesture with a tweet of her own: “Thank you for your leadership, Coach Best! I will do my part also!”

Best, the EWU athletic department’s highest-paid employee, had a 2019 salary of $207,372 according to his contract. He also receives a guaranteed $10,000 salary adjustment on Jan. 1 of each year of his contract.

Hickey, the athletic department’s second-highest paid employee, made $168,000 in 2018, her most recent documented salary on the Washington state employee salary website.