Monday, December 31, 2012

Lone Peak

This past week Lone Peak High School reached rarefied air, claiming the number one national high school basketball ranking in the Maxpreps poll (See link:   Never before had a team from Utah or even the Rocky Mountain Region reached the top ranking in any high school basketball poll.   The Knights have since then won three games at the City of Palms Invitational in Florida before falling in the championship game to now number one ranked Montverde Academy of Montverde, Florida 66-45.  The Knights did end Chester, Pennsylvania's 61 game winning streak in the semifinals. 

The Lone Peak squad is led by future BYU Cougars T.J. Haws, Nick Emery, and Erik Mika.   Quincy Lewis coaches the Knights who previously won a state championship when led by Haws' brother and current BYU star Tyler Haws.   Lone Peak also captured a state championship last year with almost virtually the same cast that it now fields.   T.J. Haws' brother Tyler Haws was a two time state player of the year.  MWC followers will also recognize names like Toolson and Shumway who play vital roles on this year's team.  

Not coincidentally, the Salt Lake Tribune's lead story in its Sunday edition featured a series of articles on the new rules implemented by the Granite School District regarding required reporting of booster payments in high school athletic programs.  See Link:(  

This isn't the first time Utah's high school procedures and policies have come under scrutiny.   Previously, Bingham High School's football team reached a number four USA Today final national ranking in 2010.    (See Link:   The ranking was as much due to coach Dave Peck's outstanding coaching as it was to Utah's open enrollment policy which allowed Bingham to essentially "recruit" top players from across Salt Lake City to fill its roster.   All too similar to what Cottonwood High School was represented to have done in the Salt Lake Tribune articles.  

The Salt Lake Tribune's own article on Lone Peak's ranking clearly indicates that 6'10" center Erik Mika was forced to sit out a year when he transferred from Waterford Academy a small 2A school to complete Lone Peak's talented team this season.   Clearly, another case of a player picking a school as opposed to living in a school district and attending school in that district.

  I am not directly involved in any of this, however, my officiating has taken me across Lone Peak High School, Bingham High School and Cottonwood High School so I have seen the kids and the parents and the schools that have benefited.   I have talked with coaches and players at these schools.  Perhaps I feel a certain connection to these schools.    However, not living in Salt Lake City or seeing these teams/schools on a regular basis anymore I am likely more apt to comment. 

Also on Saturday afternoon previously mentioned former Lone Peak star Tyler Haws scored 42 points in leading Brigham Young University past Virginia Tech University at Energy Solutions Arena.   He's now a collegiate star and possible NBA player in the making. 

The Salt Lake Tribune articles on Cottonwood High School feature a series of comments from current NFL player and former Cottonwood star Stanley Havili of the Philadelphia Eagles defending Cottonwood High School and its benefactor/offensive coordinator, millionaire Scott Cate.

Because of Utah's open enrollment policy (specified in both articles), Utah has given its high schools advantages that other states and districts don't, creating Bingham's and Lone Peak's ranking and Cottonwood High School's own situation.   The open enrollment, national rankings and high school benefactors are unique to Utah. 

This issue is complicated by the Salt Lake Tribune itself and other media outlets which are commending the Granite School District for cracking down on booster and benefactor donations through more stringent reporting requirements (see , article by Kurt Kragthorpe).  

At the same time the media props up the main beneficiaries of the financial support of these schools.   Haws' scoring outburst was featured prominently on the front page of the Tribune sports section on Sunday ( and Lone Peak's own number one ranking was detailed previously by the Tribune (

Is the Salt Lake Tribune going to suddenly stop reporting on BYU's basketball team?  Not likely.   Should itself place a less emphasis on the national ranking of these high school teams?   Also, not likely.   Yet, that's where the solution has to come from.  

It's the media itself (particularly ESPN which has created the massive athletic programs at universities across the country) that is responsible for what is now seeping into high schools like Cottonwood, Bingham and Lone Peak.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Wyoming opened this season winning its first ten games.  There are still fourteen undefeated teams remaining as of this writing and last year we well documented and researched the last remaining undefeated team for each season since 1949 (see link: as well as a history of Murray State (one of the last unbeaten teams a year ago)  (see link:    I have spent a majority of my life in Wyoming and have an advanced degree from the insitution.   It's a unique state and its basketball team's success this year is largely attributable to Coach Larry Shyatt.   Shyatt  previously coached Wyoming in 1997-98 before returning last year and guiding Wyoming to a 21-12 record.  

Wyoming has a storied basketball tradition.   Besides the National Championship referenced here: and Kenny Sailors mentioned in this same post, Wyoming had some strong seasons during the late 80's including a cover photo and Sports Illustrated article about its then superstar Fennis Dembo.  Through the magic of technology that issue is now available to everybody online.   (see link:

Dembo's name will go down with several others referenced in this blog for its combination of uniqueness and the fleeting moment of infamy that like so many other college stars he had.  Dembo led Wyoming to some of it's best seasons.   The 1986 team went 24-12 and advanced all the way to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden before losing to Florida.   The 1987 team advanced to the Sweet 16, as Dembo torched Reggie Miller in a second round matchup against UCLA by scoring 41 points. 

In fact, the last time Wyoming found itself ranked according to the Associated Press was at the end of the 1988 season when Dembo and Eric Leckner led Wyoming to the WAC Tournament Championship playing in Provo, Utah.    Wyoming finished that season with a final AP ranking of 13, led by Dembo, future NBA first round draft choice Eric Leckner and then coach Benny Dees.  

That was the same year Wyoming played against Loyola Marymount which finished ranked 15th in the final AP poll.  (see link regarding Paul Westhead and LMU:   The 1988 season was particularly relevant to followers of WAC basketball as BYU was the last undefeated team that year.  (See Link to Sports Illustrated article ( 

In fact, if you parse the back issues of Sports Illustrated you will find an additional article and picture of Dembo on page 88 of the March 21 issue.   In that issue, in the last paragraph of Morin Bishop's weekly report on college basketball he writes, "But it was fun again for the 3,500 fans that made the trip to Provo; one of them waived a sign that said, 'Benny Dees for President'".   Benny quipped, "that's the guy that threw those eggs," regarding a previous incident earlier in the season when his house was egged.  (see link:
While Bishop is correct about the sign, it took two of us to hold it the night in Provo.   What Benny Dees probably still doesn't know is that other person who held the sign that night in Provo also later gave Dees' son a job where they teamed up to win a junior college national championship.  This blog has written a lot about the College of Southern Idaho and its coaches passion and my passion which were largely fueled by those games that Wyoming played in 1986, 1987 and 1988 -- the last time Wyoming found itself ranked. 

Accordingly, it has been twenty-four years since that season when that sign was hoisted in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah and Wyoming last found itself in the Associated Press Top 25.   Wyoming did crack the UPI top 25 in 1991, rising to number 25 during the week of January 15th and actually on that team as a walk-on was the current head coach of CSI Golden Eagles.   I am certain that he does not even know about the multitude of factors and incidents which tie him to the lore of Wyoming basketball. 

This past week, the Pokes received 15 votes in the AP poll, putting them at essentially 29th and 8 votes in the USA Today Coaches poll putting them at essentially 31st.   Both on the cusp of being ranked for the first time since 1991 in the coaches poll and since 1988 in the Associated Press poll -- given the right bounces, the Pokes could find themselves essentially ranked for the first since that 1988 season. 

Wyoming doesn't play again until December 18th -- a home game against the University of Denver and then they host UCSB on December 21st (a team they already beat by 28 points on the road).   The likelihood of entering January undefeated and with two poll opportunities between now and then the likelihood of being ranked seems high.  

Whether the team can achieve the ranking evokes strong memories and connections. 

Go Pokes! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Big 5

There is only one Big 5.  It's an association of five schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that play college basketball -- St. Joseph's, Pennsylvania, Temple, Villanova and LaSalle.  The Big 5 was originally formed in 1955 and the history and tradition that all of these programs have is what makes the Big 5 so great and so unique. 

Originally, all five members of the Big 5, located withing 17  miles of one another, played their homes games at The Palestra in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania aka The Cathedral of College Basketball.  (see the picture that graces the left hand corner of this blog).  The Palestra itself has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other facility -- 52.   Additionally, The Palestra has hosted more college basketball games than any other facility.  The Palestra is as much a part of the Big 5 as any of the institutions.

The Big 5 also features a religious dimension as St. Josephs (Jesuit), Villanova (Augustinian) and LaSalle (Christian Brothers) all stem from respective religious orders of the Catholic Church.  Temple and Pennsylvania are public insitutions although Penn is the only public institution in the Ivy League.  The Palestra was named at the suggestion of Greek professor Dr. William N. Bates who reasoned that the name fit because in Ancient Greece, young men would compete in a variety of events in a rectangular enclosure (a Palestra) in view of spectators. So in 1927, the Palestra opened its doors.

Philadelphia coaching legends all made their names in the Big 5 -- John Cheney, Rollie Massimino, Chuck Daly, Jack Ramsey, Jack McCloskey, Phil Martelli, Dick Harter, and Harry Litwack, even Tom Gola coached a couple of years in the Big 5.  

Ramsay, has always been a favorite.  He is an interesting story, he coached his alma mater St. Joe's for 11 seasons and won six Big 5 Championships.  In 1961 Ramsay coached the Hawks to their only Final Four appearance.   (See below for additional details).  He followed that up by winning an NBA Championship as general manager of the 76ers.   Ultimately, he traded away Wilt Chamberlain and wound up winning another title as the coach of the Portland Trailblazers in 1977 with Bill Walton as his big man. 

Daly coached the 1992 Dream Team to gold (most experts agree the greatest collection of basketball talent ever assembled).   He started his coaching career in at Punxsutawney (PA) before landing at Penn in 1971.  All 5 of the starters on the 1979 Penn Final 4 team were recruited by Daly, but Daly was not the coach, he had moved on to an assistant position with the 76ers.   Bob Weinhauer actually coached the team, still the farthest any Ivy League school has advanced in the NCAA Tournament.

"What made Penn basketball special were The Palestra, the student body, and the players. The tradition of the students tossing the red and blue streamers after the initial basket in every game, is one those memories that stays with you forever."   Penn Coach Bob Weinhauer.

Each Big 5 school has its own history and tradition though.  Everyone will remember Villanova's 1987 NCAA Tournament Title, but the other schools boast as much if not more history and tradition.

The LaSalle Explorers nickname derives from a mistake made by a local Philadelphia sportswiter. The writer thought the university was named after the French explorer Sieur de La Salle, when in fact it is named after St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle.  The nickname caught on, however, and has remained ever since. Even being embraced by schools mantra of, "Never stop Exploring".   

LaSalle won the 1954 NCAA tournament and the 1952 NIT Championship (this was before the NIT was even considered the less prestigious tournament (see discussion regarding Murray State's history:  The Explorers appeared in NCAA Final again in 1955, but were turned away by the University of San Francisco and future Boston Celtic legends Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.  

However, LaSalle's best team may have been the 1969 team, coached by Gola, which went 23-1, but was ruled ineligible for postseason play due to academic and recruiting violations that occurred before Gola took over as coach.   

Temple, named the Owls, because it started as a night school (the Owl being a symbol of the night) went to two Final Fours during the 1950's led by Litwack. Cheney coached Temple to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and the Number 1 rating in 1988.   Both Cheney and Litwack are in the basketball Hall of Fame.  Temple has actually been the dominant team in the Big 5 winning 25 unoffical Big 5 Titles.  St. Joseph's and Temple first met during the 1901-02 season.  The Owl without a Vowel (Bill Mlkvy) scored a school record 73 points against Wilkes College in 1950-51.  He led the nation in scoring and rebounding that season. 

St. Joseph's 1961 Final Four appearance (coached by Dr. Jack Ramsay) was vacated due to a gambling scandal when star players Jack Egan, Vince Kempton and Frank Majewski were declared retroactively ineligible because of their involvement in a point shaving scandal.    Earlier in the season, Majewski had thrown a game against Dayton, scoring only 4 points and grabbing only 1 rebound.   The Flyers beat the Hawks 67-65.   Games against Xavier and Seton Hall were also proven to have been fixed.   Ultimately, the Xavier and Dayton games were two of only five losses the Hawks experienced all year.  Egan, Kempton and Frank Majewski were expelled from St. Joseph's.   Sports Illustrated gave a then in depth account of the details.  (See link: titled "Portrait of  Fixer").  

However, St. Joe's 2004 teams' 27-0 start led it to the number one rating and it was the last undefeated team that season.   See link:   The Hawks did not lose until the Atlantic 10 tournament against Xavier, and only a second time in the Elite Eight by two points against Oklahoma State.

St. Joe's also boasts arguably the best cheer in college sports, "The Hawk Will Never Die." 

Villanova's best season was obviously the 1984 NCAA Tournament Championship.  However, the Wildcats also reached the Final Four in 1939 and did it more recently in 2009 and in between appeared in 28 NCAA Tournaments. 

The 1971 Villanova/Penn rivalry was particularly spirited as the Wildcats avenged two previous Big 5 defeats by knocking off a then undefeated University of Pennsylvania team in the East Regional Final by a score of 90-47.  However, the Wildcats subsequent championship game appearance was vacated when it was determined that star player and leading scorer Howard Porter had signed with an agent prior to the tournament.  Ultimately, all five NCAA tournament games were vacated. 

There is a book on The Big 5 -- Palestra Pandemonium by Philadelphia sportswriter Robert S Lyons.  It is much better than anything I could write or put into a small read on a blog.   You'd have to be from Philly to truly appreciate the Big 5.  Additionally, there is a website promoting the Big 5 -- also better than anything I could put together and to be honest much of what appears here is stolen from it. 

However, The Big 5 deserves our attention now because of what it has always been and I wrote this hoping that fans, especially from other regions, fans that have never been to Pennsylvania or Philadelphia, might take a second to go out of their way and watch a Big 5 match up this year.  No matter how much college football changes the landscape of college athletics by shifting Louisville to the ACC, Nebraska to the Big 10  or The Big 5's own Temple to the Big East -- The Big 5 remains.  It's not based on conference affiliations or television dollars, it's based on proximity and a city.   Players play high school ball in Philly and they end up at different schools in Philly, they play again in college, the atmosphere is intense.   Penn can't suddenly decide to opt out of the Big 5.   Villanova, LaSalle, St. Joe's and Temple are their Philadelphia brothers -- relatives that they can't get away from or pay exit fees to escape rivalry games from.  

This year Penn will play Villanova on December 8th -- its Big 5 opener.   Penn actually shows a road game against St. Joe's on January 19th at the Palestra on its schedule.   Keep in mind that the Palestra is on the University of Pennsylvania campus.  More historic is the fact that from 1955 through 1989 LaSalle actually played all of its home games at The Palestra.   What forced LaSalle to move it's games to the Palestra?   Its 1954 National Championship,  when the Explorers knocked off Bradley in the final game behind Tom Gola, forcing the school to abandoned its limited on campus facility in favor of a more prestigious environment. 

LaSalle will precede these games by playing Penn State at the Palestra on December 5th as well as St. Joe's later in the season.  Never mind that Tom Gola Arena is the official home court of the Explorers. 

Here is the full Big 5 schedule for this season:

MEN'S BASKETBALL Sun. Nov. 25: La Salle 77, Villanova - OT (Tom Gola Arena)
Wed. Dec. 5: Temple at Villanova (The Pavilion), 9 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 8: Villanova at Penn (The Palestra), 8 p.m.
Tue. Dec. 11: Saint Joseph’s at Villanova (The Pavilion), 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 5: Penn at La Salle (Tom Gola Arena), 2 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 19: Penn vs. Saint Joseph’s (The Palestra), 5 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 23: Penn at Temple (Liacouras Center), 7 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 2: Temple at Saint Joseph’s (Hagan Arena), 6 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 16: Saint Joseph’s vs. La Salle (The Palestra), 1 p.m.
Thu. Feb. 21: La Salle at Temple (Liacouras Center), 7 p.m.

The Big 5 is what college basketball should be about.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home Courts and Mascots

The home court advantage in high school basketball is intensified more than at any other level.  I never set out to see as many high school and college basketball arenas as I have, but it happened.  I've moved a lot in life, searching for my place.   I've officiated at high school gyms in Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Oregon.   Primarily, Washington, Utah and Wyoming, so most of my commentary on those gyms and those atmosphere's is from those states.  A high school gym on Friday night, more than anything is an "atmosphere".   There can be a band, there can be music, there are cheerleaders, there are fans, there is a dimension and depth that isn't found on a flat screen television (thank god).  It's not found at an NBA arena, not even at the college level.  The high school arena/gym is special because of its purity. 

First, are the best high school mascots (this is a huge factor for any great home court). 
Schools listed just because of their school mascots:   Camas, Washington (The Papermakers enough said),

The papermill started in Camas, Washington in 1883.   The "Mean Machine" followed shortly thereafter. 

Carbon High, Price Utah(The Dino's enough said);

Carbon Dinos

Orofino, Idaho (Orofino Maniacs), Orofino is the home to the Idaho State Mental Hospital (that is easily the best nickname in high school sports).  I've never actually been to a game here, but the name deserves mention. 

Orofino, Idaho Maniac! 

Jordan High School (The Beetdiggers). 

Also on this list without logos pictured are Astoria, Oregon (The Fighting Fisherman), Richland, Washington (The Bombers), Poca, West Virginia (the Poca Dots). 

Certain venues stand out above the rest.   The top 10 high school environments that I have had the privilege of being a  part of follow (and yes this is extremely objective):

Honorable Mention because of the gym:   East High School, Salt Lake City, Utah, the Utah Jazz first moved to Salt Lake and had practice here.  Albin, Wyoming, so small it can't be legal.  Wyoming Indian High School, Ethete, Wyoming, I don't go for the new gyms, but this is a over the top with size and how nice it is.  Bingham High School, South Jordan, Utah, "The Minepit", Viewmont High School, Layton, Utah. 

10.  Ridgefield, Washington --  Another school on the list primarily because of it's mascot.  A small 2A school in Southwest Washington.   The Spudders as they are called actually features somebody dressed up as a potato as a mascot.  An actual Spud! 

Spudder shaking hands with a student!  You really can't focus much on the game when you see this guy in the corner.

9.  West Jordan, Utah -- Kind of the classic large, old Utah school.  There is a lot of tradition here and West Jo annually hosts an alumni tournament for former players that can't let go. 

8.  Little Snake River, Wyoming -- "The Snake Pit", was just as packed percentage wise as the Battleground gym with maybe 1/50th of the people, but a classic small town gym with a parquet floor, a stage behind one basket and legendary coach Ed Reed's name emblazoned across it. 

7.  Southeast Goshen Yoder, Wyoming  -- Again packed on a Friday night for a game against Lusk.  Just a rural country school where everyone comes in from the ranch to watch their kids on a Friday night.   But more  intense than other small town high school.  Southeast Goshen's faithful take a little more pride in winning.   

6.  Storey Gym, Cheyenne, Wyoming -- a large Indiana type facility, old but refurbished.   Central vs. East brings out most of the city.  It almost feels like a small college gym it is so cavernous.  Central has won the second most state Championships of any high school in the country and they all started right here. 

5.   Chugwater, Wyoming -- Actual cheer, "C-H-U-G-H-2-O", "C-H-U-G-H-2-O" "Chugwater, Chugwater, go, go, go . . ."   I never get enough of that.  Plus they serve the famous "Chugwater Chili" at the Little Six tournament which annually features the six smallest schools in the smallest state in the country over one weekend.  What high school basketball was supposed to be about. 

4.    Hudson Bay High School, Vancouver, Washington -- It's just this enormous facility.  The largest high school facility that I have been in.  I'm not sure how anyone can actually see the game from the last rows as there are stanchions and what seems like a 100 rows between the court and top row. 

3.    Battleground, Washington -- I have never seen a high school basketball game with as many people in attendance as the Battleground/Prairie rivalry.  5000 people, at least that's what the occupancy of the gym was and the entire thing was filled.  Vancouver, Washington is basically a suburb or Portland, yet these schools somehow maintain their country roots when the teams meet.

2.   Olympus High School, Salt Lake City, Utah -- The Olympus student body is knowledgeable, fun and does that bit where some kid comes down in a robe and parts the student body.  I think it's Zeus.  It's as creative as anything a college is doing.   Just electric on Friday night. 

1.   Judge Memorial Catholic High School -- the court is decidedly smaller than a regular court.   How small I'm not certain, I didn't measure.  84 is the minimum length of a high school basketball court -- this seems smaller.  The band is jammed in a corner and the Judge student body, administration and support group sits right on top of the court.  There are only eight rows and three rows on each side of the court.  You really can't hear anything on a Friday night. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


High school basketball season will tip off across America this time of year as well as the college game.  We at have vowed to follow the high school season with more fervor this year.  Not because we are out of material on the college game, but because of how pure the high school game remains.  

Our first post showed the salaries of multiple division I coaches.  Across the country high school coaches do it for the love of the game.  (see the list below for the 10 winningest high school coaches of all time).  They put in hours, coach summer camps, drive kids home at night, to and from practice.  Arguably, at large high schools, head coaches put in the same hours as small college coaches, often while managing a full teaching load.

As the season tips off, each team in one capacity or another has virtually the same goal or some form of it and it always involves the word "State."   "Take State," "Going to State", "Winning State".   "State" is something you obtain, you go to, its a place, yet it's also an achievement, it is a malleable term -- diverse, hybrid, and still yet a finite point in direction, goal and end.    

Tens of thousands of kids will start the season with talk of "State" for some it's a bus ride to a town or city and basketball arena they have only heard about, for other's it's a chance to miss school if their team does well.   For coaches, officials and fans it's a yearly epicenter of high school basketball in their own "State".   Which is what makes state -- State.  

There are only three "all state" state tournaments remaining.   Only Kentucky, Delaware and Hawaii offer an all class state tournament.  In Kentucky, the tournament draws over 120,000 fans annually for the "Sweet 16" as teams open the tournament in district tournaments, followed by 16 team regionals and then the "Sweet 16" or state tournament.  (And yes, Kentucky's High School Activities Association actually owns the rights to the term "Sweet 16").  The seeding for this tournament is determined by random draw and televised statewide.  This year for the first time ever the final game will be played on a Sunday.  Lexington Lafayette High School and Lexington Herald High School each own 6 boys basketball state championships in Kentucky. 

In Kentucky, Delaware and Hawaii, no matter how large your school is or how small your school is, there is only one state champion.  The movie Hoosiers best characterized this format of a state tournament.  Tiny Hickory advancing through sectionals, regionals and to the state championship.  At that time, Indiana had only one state tournament.  In 1997, against the sentiment of Hickory High's own Bobby Plump, Indiana did away with the all school state tournament and began classification based tournaments.   This past summer, Indiana's own high school activity director vowed that there would be no return to the single class tournament:

Here are some interesting records for the high school game:  

Most State Championships
Jersey City St. Anthony's        New Jersey                                27
Cheyenne Central                   Wyoming                                    24
New Haven Hillhouse             Connecticutt                               22
Kansas City Wyandotte          Kansas                                       20
Little Rock Central                 Arkansas                                    18
Miami Senior                          Florida                                       18
Portsmouth                             New Hampshire                         17
Provo                                     Utah                                           17
Mitchell                                  South Dakota                             16
Phoenix Union                        Arizona                                      16
Macon Lanier                         Georgia                                      16
Hobbs                                    New Mexico                              16
Beckley Woodrow Wilson      West Virginia                              16

The 10 winningest high school basketball coaches of all time are:
Robert Hughes (1959-2005)               Fort Worth I.M Terrell, Fort Worth Dunbar                 1333-265
Morgan Wooten  (1957-2002)           Hyattsville DeMatha                                                     1274-192
Ralph Tasker (1941-1998)            Sulphur Springs, Ohio; Lovington, NM Hobbs                   1122-291
Bill Krueger (1958-1996)              Texas  (various)                                                                 1098-250
Joel Hawkins (1966-2008)          Baton Rouge, Southern Lab                                                 1089-272
Morgan Gilbert (1966-2012)                 Arkansas (various)                                                     1055-580
Bob Hurley  (1974-2012)                          Jersey City, St Anthony's                                       1049-109
Leslie Gaudet (1947-1970)                   Pine Prarie, LA                                                          1026-353
Walter VanHuss (1953-1989)                Hampton, TN                                                            1021-313
Ronald Bradley  (1958-2010)                    Georgia (various)                                                   1019-322 will follow with more as the season progresses. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coaching Salaries

Welcome to the season!  

College basketball has become a huge business.  Escalating coaching salaries are as much a part of the game as scholarships, the NCAA Tournament, and basketball itself.   Contract extensions, buyouts and shoe contracts along with incentive laden contracts dictate the agenda of universities across the country as much as academics or graduation.   Accordingly, we here at are going to follow the money for our first report. 

What follows is the best compilation I could make of salaries either for the upcoming season or last year for coaches in the western United States.   I'm in the west and to be honest compiling every coaches salary from the 347 division I institutions was overwhelming.   A similar pattern would exist throughout the country with the lower division I conferences (Big Sky in this case) making proportionately less than the midmajors (WAC then MWC) and proportionate to the BCS league the PAC 12 in this case -- which has a pile of millionaires.  

The information was primarily compiled from general internet researches regarding the respective coaches and their institutions.   Private schools are not required to release this information and accordingly the West Coast Conference which is comprised exclusively of private schools is left out, with the exception of Dave Rose at BYU whose information was available in the Salt Lake Tribune.  * (Astrix) indicate footnoted items and there could be a footnote for basically every coach and every contract as most contracts have certain incentive or specifications which allow for higher pay or reduced pay depending on results and behavior. Some of the information may be different in different publications as there are various reports on some coaches and incentive laden contracts are often reported different ways by different media sources. 

In the right column is information I am still working on compiling which may come to fruition some time in the future.  Essentially, I am looking for a metric which would measure a coaches salary against his nonconference schedule (which they are usually allowed to make).  Essentially allowing themselves a away to schedule themselves to a higher salary.   At this point I could not make it too useful and it can be ignored.  I will continue to work on this metric as I still think it has some merit, just not sure of the appropriate formula.    

Again, I look forward to the season and providing incite, history and tradition of college and high school basketball. 

Coach                                                             School                                         __Salary

Joe ScottDenver $300,000
Stew MorrillUtah State$406,409
Don VerlinIdaho                               $148,149*
Gib ArnoldHawaii$340,000
Brooks ThompsonTexas State $125,000
Marvin MenziesNew Mexico State$340,000
Dick HunsakerUtah Valley$144,500
Rod BarnesCal State Bakersfield$140,004
PAC 12
Larry KrystowiakUtah$950,000
Dana AltmanOregon$1,800,000
Craig RobinsonOregon State                                $950000*
Tad BoyleColorado$580,000
Sean MillerArizona$2,300,000
Lorenzo RomarWashington                          $1,105,000**
Ken BoneWashington State                           $840,408***
Herb SendekArizona State$1,280,000
Ben HowlandUCLA$2,000,000
Kevin O'NeilUSC$1,700,000
Mike MontgomeryCalifornia$1,450,000
Johnny DawkinsStanford                  $1,200,000****
Larry Eustachy Colorado State                            $500,000*
Dave RiceUNLV$700,000
Steve AlfordNew Mexico$1,200,000
Dave CarterNevada$400,000
Leon RiceBoise State$400,000
Rodney TerryFresno State$350,000
Steve FisherSan Diego State$800,000
Dave PilipovichAir Force                     N/A
Larry ShyattWyoming                         $195,000^^
Randy RaheWeber State$352,156
Jack MurphyNorthern Arizona$180,000
BJ HillNorthern Colorado$105,000
Wayne TinkleMontana$127,308
Brad HuseMontana State$113,824
Tyler GevingPortland State$120,000
Saul PhillipsNorth Dakota State$135,000
Nick Robinson Southern Utah                 ^^^
Jim HanfordEastern Washington$90,000
Brian KatzSacramento State$90,000
Bill EvansIdaho State$90,000
Joe Callero Cal Poly$180,000
Bob WilliamsUCSB$235,000
Bobby BraswellCal State Northridge$241,000
Jim WoolridgeUC Riverside$230,000
Bobby BurtonCal State Fullerton       interim coach
Russell TurnerUC Irvine$205,000
Jim LesUC Davis $120,000^
Tim ClearyPacific                  N/A
Dan MonsonLong Beach State$280,000
Tim FloydUTEP                             $600,000*
Doug DavalosTexas State$120,000
Dave RoseBYU                              $333,000*
Tim MilesNebraska$1,400,000
Scott NagySouth Dakota State$152,000
Dave BootsSouth Dakota    $122,780
Brian JonesNorth Dakota$86,384

USA Today complied an thoroughly researched list of guaranteed contracts and incentives for coaches of the 68 schools that reached the NCAA Tournament.  Here is a link:

*Indicates coach with a high incentive % of potential income from incentives. 
Example:  Eustachy's base salary is $500,000. He can earn an additional $250,000 if he meets academic standards set by CSU and the team has no NCAA violations. Then, if after he meets graduation rates and there are no NCAA violations, he can earn up to another $350,000, split in two ways. He'll get $100,000 if the team wins 20 games or more and $250,000 if the team gets an NCAA Tournament bid or wins its conference tournament. And he'll get another $100,000 if the team advances to the Sweet 16.
**There is another $200,000 in bonuses and incentives for on-court and classroom success, and $200,000 in deferred compensation, meaning the total potential value is $1.505 million per year
***Bone will have multiple incentive stipulations in his contract, including $20,000 if the team earns at least a 2.5 grade-point average; $25,000 for an NCAA-tournament berth or league coach-of-the-year honor; $50,000 for a Pac-10 season or tournament title, an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, an NIT championship or national coach-of-the-year award, and $100,000 for a Final Four appearance
****Stanford is private school and does not release information however his initial salary was estimated at 1 million annually and he received a bump in 2011.  See Link:

^Les Receives 80000 for coaching the basketball team and an additional 40000 for teaching physical education classes. 
^^Shyatt's total compensation package could earn him up to $645,000 with incentives. 
^^^I could not find Robinson's salary.  Likely in the same range as fellow Big Sky members coaches.