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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW new men’s basketball coach will have to bank on success on the court if he wants to make as much money as his predecessor.

According to a copy of the contract released this morning by the university, Keatts has agreed to a five-year deal with a base salary of $300,000 per season. That’s more than the base salary for former coach Buzz Peterson, who was fired last month after four seasons, but Peterson’s contract had other compensation built in that pushed his total pay to more than $400,000 per year.

Under the terms of Keatts’s contract, he will not be paid extra for his TV and radio shows. Peterson made an extra $100,000 a year for that work. Peterson got another $100,000 per year for marketing and fundraising work on behalf of UNCW Athletics. The contract for Keatts does not include such a clause.

Keatts, though, does have several incentives built into his contract, which Peterson’s deal did not have. He will get $10,000 each year his team’s Academic Progress Rate score is over 960. UNCW was banned from postseason play in 2012-2013 because of a low APR. Keatts will get a $25,000 bonus for each NCAA postseason tournament game his team plays, $25,000 for a regular season conference championship, $25,000 for a conference tournament title, $25,000 for a top 100 RPI on Selection Sunday. If the men’s basketball season ticket sales are more than $185,000, Keatts gets a 20-percent cut.

Keatts also gets $25,000 in “supplemental compensation” for his first year as coach and $50,000 for his second year. Starting in year three of the contract, the supplemental compensation can rise another $25,000 per year if he meets certain milestones, including completing 16 episodes of his TV and radio shows and if he helps with other marketing, attends a minimum of 10 Seahawk Club/Alumni Association events, has at least a .500 regular season conference record and if the men’s basketball program maintains compliance with rules for the school, CAA and NCAA. If he fails to meet those standards, the supplemental compensation remains at the previous year’s level.

If UNCW decides to fire Keatts at some point, it would likely be cheaper than its decision to fire Peterson. The contract says the school only owes Keatts his base salary of $300,000 per year if it fires him without cause. Peterson is due his base salary plus other contracted compensation and benefits. UNCW has said it could pay upwards of $1 million over the next two years for Peterson not to coach the team.

It will cost Keatts $200,000 if he decides to quit.

Comment on this Story

  • jj

    Up the tuition someone has to pay for all this. Was there a cause in the contact that if he leaves before the end of his contact that he has to pay UNCW? If not, why wasn’t there one?


    “Was there a cause in the contact that if he leaves before the end of his contact that he has to pay UNCW? If not, why wasn’t there one?”

    The last sentence of the article:

    “It will cost Keatts $200,000 if he decides to quit.”

  • SurfCityTom

    where it should be. Performance based compensation with minimal guarantees.

    Too bad the administration was in such a hurry to gloss over the Benny Moss debacle it did not take a similar approach with Peterson.

    Now, how do you deal with an Administrator who gave a losing coach a contract extension?

  • Vog46

    Incentives for under performing?
    20% of $185K is $37K (attendance incentive) Thats $337K
    $25K in year one as supplemental comp
    total now $362K per year
    $50k FOR YEAR 2
    NOW AT either $412K/year or $387K depending upon wording
    And $25K per year if he does seahawk fundraising etc and gets to .500
    Total; $412K per year or $437K per year

    And THAT doesn’t include the APR scores (960 minimum) or the NCAA games won. So its not basketball performance based at all. except for a few games.
    The ONLY thing that is different is the termination clause.

    20% of attendance? Thats pretty hefty…….


  • guesty

    “It will cost Keatts $200,000 if he decides to quit.”

    Is that because if he quits, instead of getting $500,000 he will get $300,000? That is a cost of $200,000.

    So that sentence doesn’t necessarily mean he will have to pay up $200k.

  • SurfCityTom

    Read the entire piece. $10K for each post season victory. Considering the poor attendance this season, they will have to work to get to that number; if I am not mistaken, that number excludes student attendance.

    Some of those incentives do not kick in until year 3 or 4.

    Buzz had a termination clause in his contract.

    There ought to be something they can assign to Buzz in exchange for his million dollars. Towel Guy or Ticket Taker maybe.

  • Vog46

    the only way that works is if UNCW drops a division down – not out of the realm of possibilities
    He gets MORE extra pay for non performance things. And at $16/tkt or $190 for season tickets that season long figure of low 6 figure attendance isn’t that hard to achieve.
    Bass is clearly trying to save his job.
    he’s doing a terrible job


  • billyc1

    folks of ILM, grow up and quit worrying about pay scales that you yourselves created. you wanted big time sports and sports names, and UNCW did best they could with “big” name buzz. buzz killer that he was, you wanted him and applauded him. everything follows suit from there. no one is coming here fresh and taking less $ really so quit acting like the hawks could secure Pitino for Hoggard JV $. college sports no longer works that way, thanks tv. how about keeping quiet, get off your butts and support this guy and everything UNCW/ILM and get on with life! brownell is gone. wainwright is gone. every UNCW alum you’ve ever known isn’t the best fit so they’re not coming. we’ve got keats. looks great to me. i’ll be in the stands having fun again. thanks for taking the job kevin. i look forward to next season and beyond!

  • Tim

    UNCW and its trustees care a lot more about sports than they do education. Professors don’t get nearly this much in salary–and there are many students living on a shoestring who could use scholarship assistance. UNCW personifies misplaced priorities. Education is not its primary purpose. Very sad.

  • Guest2020

    You are right. The athletes even get to register for classes before everyone else. That certainly isn’t right.


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