WKU coaches and AD gain new incentives with contracts


Monica Kast

WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart, football Head Coach Jeff Brohm and newly hired basketball Head Coach Rick Stansbury have contracts and addendums being considered for  approval at the next Board of Regents meeting with multiple incentives.

The Executive Committee and the board will approve the addendums and contracts at their meeting Friday. These addendums come after WKU spent the most on coaching and staff in the school’s history: approximately $9.46 million in 2015, according to a report from USA Today Sports.

Faculty Regent Barbara Burch gave a report on the addendums at the University Senate on April 16. She expressed some concerns about giving incentives to the athletic staff in light of budget cuts.

“Less than 10 months ago, we had a discussion about increasing student fees for athletics,” Burch said at the senate meeting. “It’s troubling to me if that money is used to increase the incentives given to the [athletics director].”

According to a report from USA Today Sports, WKU’s athletic program was subsidized approximately 64.5 percent in 2015. Burch said that it was her understanding that some of the incentives in the revised contracts would be paid by the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation.

Athletics Director Todd Stewart’s employment contract was extended to include employment until June 30, 2020, according to the addendum.

The addendum also included “additional supplemental salary payment,” based on future WKU athletics performance in regular and postseason competition.

Stewart will also be compensated $20,000 for the academic performance of the athletic department if its Annual Progress Rate is 940 or higher. This is a change from the original contract bonus of $10,000 for achieving an APR of 925.

WKU athletics achieved an APR score of 950 for the first time in the school’s history during the 2014-2015 school year.

Stewart was contacted but was not available to comment before publication. His assistant Lisa Schneider passed on a statement from Stewart.

“I very much appreciate the support,” Stewart said. “This is where I want to be. I love being at Western Kentucky. I feel really good about what we’ve achieved, but I’m motivated by the challenges we have ahead. I’m very excited to go about overcoming them.”

Football Head Coach Jeff Brohm’s employment contract was also amended to include “revised terms and conditions of his employment as head coach,” according to the Board of Regents. The Executive Committee and the board will approve the addendum at the board’s meeting on Friday.

[Brohm’s] contract is funded by private sources and will in no way come from the university budget.

According to the addendum, Brohm’s annual base salary was increased to $800,000. There were several clauses removed about “termination by coach without cause” from Brohm’s original contract. There was also a section added that allows either Brohm or WKU to terminate the contract prior to December 31, 2019, “without cause.”

Additionally, sections were added that state if Brohm terminates his contract before March 1, 2017, and “accepts employment as head football coach at any college or university competing in NCAA Division I – A or in the National Football League,” he will have to pay WKU $900,000.

At the senate meeting, Burch noted that the incentives and salary increase for Brohm were not coming from the university’s budget. She indicated that, to her understanding, Brohm’s incentives are subsidized by the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation.

“His contract is funded by private sources and will in no way come from the university budget,” Burch said at the senate meeting.

Newly hired basketball Head Coach Rick Stansbury signed his employment contract on March 23. The terms of Stansbury’s contract began on March 28 and continue through June 30, 2020.

Stansbury’s base annual salary is $500,000. Additionally, WKU will provide a car to Stansbury for the duration of his employment.

Each season, Stansbury will be provided, free of charge, four “VIP football season tickets,” six men’s basketball tickets, and 12 “reserved seat men’s basketball season tickets,” according to the contract. In the case that WKU’s men’s basketball team plays in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Stansbury will be provided with eight tickets to those games.

According to a report by USA Today Sports, WKU’s total revenues and expenses from athletics was $30,212,548 in 2015.

The Board of Regents will vote to approve the contracts at their meeting on Friday.