Board of Regents to discuss athletic contracts in second quarterly meeting


Tucker Covey

WKU President Timothy C. Caboni sits at the Board of Regents meeting in the Regents Room inside Jody Richards Hall on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022.

Michael Crimmins, Administration reporter

The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents released its agenda for the quarterly meeting scheduled on Thursday, May 4 at 1 p.m. in the Regents room in Jody Richards Hall. 

While the agenda includes many of the same items that were presented in April’s committee meeting, there are two athletic contracts that were not presented in April.

According to the Executive Committee’s report, the contract extension of Tyson Helton, head coach of the men’s football team, through Dec. 31, 2026 will be discussed and voted on by the Regents. 

“[Helton’s] term of employment is amended to add an additional season to the existing term of employment following each season the football program wins seven or more games,” the report states. “The revised normal expiration date is now December 31, 2023.”

In addition to amending the expiration date, the addendum also revises the “liquidated damages upon termination without cause,” which lays out how much money the coach or the university has to pay in the event of early termination.

The report states that Helton’s base salary and bonus will be unaffected by the addendum.

The other athletic employment contract featured in the Executive Committee’s report concerns Steve Lutz who replaced Rick Stansbury as the men’s basketball head coach in March.

The contract states Lutz will receive $650,000, plus performance incentives. According to the contract, Lutz officially began in this position on March 22 and his employment runs through June 30, 2027.

The contract also includes incentives provided to Lutz including a car, four VIP football season tickets, six Red Towel men’s basketball tickets, 12 “reserved seat men’s basketball season tickets,” and states he will receive half of “all gross ticket revenue that exceeds $900,000.”

In the incentives portion it also states there are possible monetary gains based on the team’s academic performance, tournament appearances and season championships. 

Jace Lux, university spokesperson, said the two contracts were not presented at the committee meeting because they were not finalized until recently.

The details of the contracts were still being finalized at the time of the last committee meetings,” Lux said. “Therefore, the contracts were not yet available to present to the Regents.”

The Academic Affairs and the Finance and Budget reports include the same certificate programs and program suspensions discussed during the April meeting. 

There is also a closed session scheduled to “discuss proposed or pending litigation against or on behalf of the University.”

The next committee meeting is scheduled for June 2. The annual Board of Regents retreat is scheduled for Aug. 10 and the third quarterly meeting is Aug. 11.

Administration reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected].