Old Dominion and women's basketball coach Karen Barefoot agreed to a two-year contract extension that is heavy on incentives and runs through the 2017-18 season, the school announced Wednesday.
“I certainly think she's earned a new contract at Old Dominion,” athletic director Wood Selig said, “given the success we've experienced, academically and athletically, her first two seasons.”
Selig also pointed out that Barefoot and her staff have recruited very well, bringing in athletes with upgraded athletic and academic profiles, and that she oversaw a sizable jump in the program's Academic Performance Rate (APR) from year one to year two.
“I think those three variables merited a new contract,” he said.
Barefoot, a Newport News native who just completed her second season at ODU, will receive the same base salary as her previous deal ($175,000), as well as $15,000 for TV and radio appearances and a courtesy car.
But performance bonuses increase significantly. She will receive a month's salary for being the No. 1 seed or winning the conference tournament. She will get one month's salary for participating in the NCAA tournament, and an extra month's salary for making the Sweet 16 and Final Four.
Barefoot will receive two months' salary for making the NCAA championship game and three months' salary for winning a national championship. Assistant coaches will receive one month's salary if the team makes the NCAA tournament.
“The support the school has demonstrated for me provides me the confidence to continue to develop and build a winning program, as well as restore the championship tradition we all love and enjoy,” Barefoot said in a statement.
The Lady Monarchs went 19-12 last season, rebounding from an 11-21 mark in Barefoot's first season. The program's APR improved from 910, third-lowest in the nation in women's basketball, in 2010-11 to 953 the following year, in the NCAA's most recently released data.
Barefoot also landed a couple of area recruits in Princess Anne High's Galaisha Goodhope and Warwick's LaQuanda Younger, in addition to transfers who are expected to contribute after sitting out next season.
“One of the common refrains I hear from coaches,” Selig said, “is they want to be able to look a recruit in the eye and tell them that they'll be there for their entire playing career. The fact that this is a five-year deal with an annual renewal clause means that if Karen continues to do the superb job that she has so far, she would essentially have a five-year contract in perpetuity.”
Barefoot's new contract announcement came one day after the school agreed to a reworked deal with football coach Bobby Wilder.
Selig said that the department wanted to appropriately compensate coaches of the three most visible sports — men's and women's basketball and football — as ODU heads into Conference USA.
“Once we take care of them,” Selig said, “we will continue to evaluate coaches of our other programs and compensate them accordingly with our position in Conference USA and relative to their level of success.”
Selig said that details of new men's basketball coach Jeff Jones' contract are still being ironed out. Jones is operating under what Selig called “a letter of agreement” that pays him a salary, but that incentives, performance bonuses, rollover clauses, buyout figures and such have not been finalized.
Jones is due to make approximately $500,000 annually, Selig said, with more than half of that coming from private and corporate funds.
Selig said that the goal is to pay all of the Monarchs' head coaches at least the average of their C-USA counterparts to start.
Competitively, he said, the goal for all of ODU's teams is to finish in the upper quartile of the league — top four in a 16-team Conference USA, but slightly different for programs such as field hockey and wrestling, which compete as affiliate members of other leagues.
“From a competitive standpoint, before they run, they need to walk,” Selig said. “We hope all of them can go in and succeed right away, and if that's the case, then we will re-evaluate so that their compensation reflects their position within the conference. If they're among the top performers in the conference, they'll be compensated accordingly.”