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Keatts gets 5-year, incentive-laden contract from UNCW

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.

Under the terms of Keatts’s contract, he will not be paid extra for his TV, radio and internet 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 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

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.


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