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Thirteen Maryland coaches, AD Damon Evans take voluntary pay cuts as program prepares for revenue losses

Thirteen Maryland coaches and athletic director Damon Evans are taking a voluntary pay cut up to 10%, the athletic department announced Thursday, an adjustment made as the program prepares for revenue losses induced by the COVID-19 pandemic that might stretch into the tens of millions of dollars.

These pay cuts come after university-imposed base pay salary reductions. Every Terps head coach who receives supplemental pay has agreed to up to an additional 10% voluntary pay cut. Evans, who in 2018 signed a six-year contract worth about $800,000 annually, will take an additional 10% pay cut from his supplemental pay.

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Seven head coaches will take a pay cut: men’s soccer coach Sasho Cirovski, women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese, football coach Mike Locksley, field hockey coach Missy Meharg, women’s lacrosse coach Cathy Reese, men’s lacrosse coach John Tillman and men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon.

Turgeon, who is entering his 10th season as coach of the Terps, is the state’s highest-paid employee, earning $3 million in 2019. His contract extends through the 2022-2023 season.

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Locksley, who is entering his second season as football coach, is the state’s second-highest-paid employee, earning $2.5 million in 2019. Frese, coach of the women’s basketball team since 2002, is third, earning $1.3 million in 2019.

Maryland’s highest-earning assistant coaches with supplemental pay have also agreed to take a voluntary pay cut. This includes men’s basketball assistants Matt Brady, Deandre Haynes and Orlando Banson, along with football assistants George Helow, Jon Hoke and Scottie Montgomery

“This is an incredible demonstration of generosity and commitment to the mission of our athletic department,” Evans said in a news release. “I appreciate these coaches' continued understanding during these unprecedented times. The pandemic has dealt us a financial crisis that requires difficult decisions. We continue to stay resilient and we will get through this together. Focus on the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes remains our top priority as we are committed to maintaining their student experience to the best of our abilities.”

After the Big Ten announced it would play an eight-game football season starting Oct. 24, Evans estimated a revenue loss of as much as $65 million without a football season. Evans said that playing a football season would allow the athletic department to recoup some losses but, “it’s still going to be a tough financial situation for us moving forward.”

The athletic department on Tuesday launched its “More Than The Score” fundraising campaign to help offset losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our Maryland Athletics family has stayed committed to supporting one another,” Evans said. “Our program remains strong. And yet, the financial impact of the virus has cut us deeply. As we have seen many times before, when Terps come together, special things can happen, and so I am calling on Terrapins everywhere to rally together and support us with a gift to the More than the Score campaign as we face the most significant budget challenges in department history. Together, we will persevere.”

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