Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Details of Air Force men's basketball coach Dave Pilipovich's new contract

By Brent Briggeman Published: July 10, 2013 0

A Final Four appearance would be worth $120,000 for Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich.

Details of Pilipovich's new five-year contract were made available to The Gazette on Wednesday. It is a deal that will pay the coach an average of $340,000 per year through 2018.

"I have seen enough of Dave Pilipovich as an assistant coach and a head coach to know the values he has," Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh said in a press release in late June, when the program first announced the deal. "He is exactly the right guy to lead this program and I am excited about the future."

Pilipovich, 49, will earn $300,000 for the upcoming season, with the salary jumping to $350,000 annually for the final four years of the deal. There is also a 5 percent annual cost-of-living increase included and Pilipovich will be eligible for a five percent match from Air Force's retirement program.

The deal includes no buyout clause, meaning Pilipovich could opt out without penalty should he be courted by another team while under this contract. This has certainly happened in the recent past, with coaches Chris Mooney, Joe Scott and Jeff Bzdelik hired elsewhere after success with the Falcons.

Pilipovich's contract includes performance incentives that could pay as much as 40 percent of his base salary. He earns 10 percent if the program reaches 15 wins, 15 percent at 17 wins and 20 percent for 20 victories. An NCAA Tournament or NIT appearance is worth 25 percent, a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament is worth 30 percent and the Final Four would bring him 40 percent.

The bonuses are not cumulative, so reaching a higher rung would cancel those underneath it.

The deal keeps Pilipovich at the bottom end of coach's salaries in the Mountain West. For example, San Diego State's Steve Fisher earns $800,000 per season, UNLV's Dave Rice is at $600,000 and both Boise State's Leon Rice and Colorado State's Larry Eustachy make more than $482,000. Wyoming's Larry Shyatt earns a base salary of $190,000, but has performance bonuses that could push that total to $645,000.

Pilipovich became Air Force's coach on an interim basis midway through the 2011-12 season and completed his first full season earlier this year, guiding the Falcons to 18 victories.

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