McDonald’s revised contract passes committees; Cowles extended

WKU basketball Head Coach Ken McDonald, at left, listens as Athletic Director Ross Bjork announces the university’s decision to keep McDonald as head coach after a tumultuous 16-16 season.

Tessa Duvall

Amendments to Head Coach Ken McDonald’s contract were approved on Friday by the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents.

The amendments must be approved by the full Board of Regents at their July 29 meeting before going into effect.

Athletics Director Ross Bjork said at the meeting that he felt it was the right course of action to give McDonald another chance, and that the contract would reflect that.

Bjork in March announced at a press conference that McDonald’s base salary would be cut by $100,000 down to $250,000 annually.

The incentives in McDonald’s contract were also reduced, most to $15,000. In the past, these incentives were the equivalent of one month of his former $350,000-a-year salary.

Since the March press conference announcing the salary reduction, the only new development regarding McDonald’s contract is the buyout language, Bjork said after the committee meeting.

In the event that McDonald is terminated from his employment at WKU, he can receive a total of $300,000 over four years of monthly payments, or he can negotiate with the university for a present value lump-sum payment, Bjork said.

In the old contract, the $300,000 buyout would have been paid within 30 days of termination.

Cowles’ contract extended

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles’ contract was extended to last an additional year, until June 30, 2015. Her contract wasn’t at all amended.

“There’s a lot of renewed energy in the women’s basketball program,” Bjork said.

Bjork pointed out that Cowles now has a four-year window to recruit and operate the program.