Athletics gets hirings, raises and audits approved by Board of Regents

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Jeremy Chisenhall

WKU athletics had the appointment of seven new employees, as well as the raise of a current assistant coach and the approval of new women’s basketball head coach Greg Collins’ contract, approved at the last Board of Regents meeting. 

The seven positions included five assistant coaches, a new football strength and conditioning coach and a new assistant strength and conditioning coach. The total amount of approved salary proposals and raises is $553,016. 

New strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp’s $100,000 salary coupled with Collins’ $200,000 makes up 54 percent of the total. 

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“I feel really good about it,” athletics director Todd Stewart said of the staff additions. “In the strength and conditioning area, we really like Jason Veltkamp. I mean for us to be able to have somebody with experience at the Power 5 level, and also the National Football League I think will be a huge asset to our program.”

Veltkamp and Collins’ salaries were the only two six-figure salaries approved. Football assistant coach Maurice Crum had his raise of $25,000 approved, which brings his yearly salary to $75,000. The raise comes after Crum added co-special teams coordinator to his title during the spring practice season. The reasoning for his raise in the regents’ agenda stated that he turned down a competing job to take the raise, and that the raise didn’t cost WKU any additional money when compared to replacing Crum. 

“[Crum] received an offer from another institution, he agreed to stay with a salary increase,” the agenda stated. “The staff are being conscientious and backfilling another staff position for significantly less than the prior person was paid. There is no net increase in total spending on salaries.”

Other athletics hires included Christopher Aninye as the new assistant strength and conditioning coach, and Tredell Dorsey, William Thomas, Matthew Mitchell, James Woods and Nigel Bigbee as assistant coaches. WKU President Timothy Caboni recommended the approval of all the staff appointments and raises, according to the regents’ agenda. 

The athletics department had to eliminate six jobs in March as a result of the university’s $15 million in budget cuts. Athletics’ budget was cut by $1.3 million, which made up 8 percent of the university’s cuts. 

The board also approved WKU’s third-party audit in compliance with NCAA bylaw 3.2.4.16, which requires Division I universities to “submit financial data detailing operating revenues, expenses and capital related to its intercollegiate athletics program to the NCAA on an annual basis in accordance with the financial reporting policies and procedures,” according to the NCAA’s website. The audit was carried out by Crowe Horwath, LLP. Caboni also recommended the approval of the audit. The audit reported that WKU athletics maintained a balanced budget, both bringing in and spending $30.4 million during the year ended June 30, 2017. 

In addition to that, it was reported to the regents’ finance and budget committee that WKU was in compliance with NCAA bylaw 20.9.9.3, which requires an average paid or actual attendance of 15,000 spectators for football games over a rolling two-year period, according to the NCAA’s website. WKU averaged 15,706 spectators per game over its six true home games in 2017. 

Sports Editor Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.