Board of Regents approves raise for athletic director Todd Stewart

WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart stands before the Board of Regents on Jan. 26 in Jody Richards Hall to ask that Rick Stansbury’s annual base salary be raised by $150,000. 

Matt Stahl

WKU’s Board of Regents approved a 32.3 percent raise for athletic director Todd Stewart on Friday. Stewart’s base salary will increase from $204,132 to $270,000.

Stewart became WKU’s athletic director in 2012. With him at the helm of the department, WKU has won 24 Conference USA titles in various sports during his tenure, more than any other school in the conference. The Hilltoppers have also made Nike their official on-field apparel provider under Stewart’s tenure. 

The raise also comes following a year in which the football team finished 3-9 before former head coach Mike Sanford was fired. WKU’s volleyball team, a powerhouse in C-USA since joining the conference, was bounced in its first match of the C-USA Tournament.

The Hilltoppers have seen recent success in basketball, making the NIT semifinal last year and recording upsets over West Virginia, Arkansas, and previously 15th-ranked Wisconsin.

“He’s been around a while,” Craig Browning of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation said to the board. “When you are in the position that he’s in, director of athletics, I think every decision that you make is going to be under the spotlight, microscope if you will.”

The raise, which was signed by Stewart and President Timothy Caboni on Feb. 19, came with words of approval from the president.

“He has my full confidence,” Caboni said. “I trust him and that’s crucial in these relationships.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that Todd Stewart became athletic director in 2008. The story has been updated with the correct year. The Herald regrets the error.

Sports Editor Matt Stahl can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @mattstahl97.