CRAWFORD | Louisville makes McDonnell nation's highest paid coll - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Louisville makes McDonnell nation's highest paid college baseball coach

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Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell talks about his new $10 million contract. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford) Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell talks about his new $10 million contract. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, less than 48 hours after telling reporters he would "go down fighting" to keep his baseball coach from looking at other offers, landed a knockout on Wednesday, signing Dan McDonnell to a 10-year, $10.6 million contract extension.

"Whew," McDonnell said. "In my first six years of coaching college baseball, my highest salary was $16,000."

The base salary of $1 million annually, with a loyalty bonus of $150,000 if he remains coach through June of 2017 and another June of 2020, makes him the highest-paid coach in college baseball. It is believed to be just the second seven-figure base salary for a baseball coach in NCAA history. The first belonged to Texas coach Augie Garrido, who stepped down on Monday. 

McDonnell is the winningest coach in Louisville baseball history. He has led the Cardinals to the College World Series three times, including five berths in NCAA Super Regionals. He has the Cardinals ranked No. 2 in the nation and the No. 2 national seed in the NCAA Tournament.

He is 453-189 in 10 seasons at U of L, and his teams have won seven regular season conference championships, including back-to-back ACC Atlantic Division titles. Selected as the ACC Coach of the Year in each of those two championship seasons, McDonnell entered the 2016 season ranked sixth nationally in winning percentage among active coaches.

"Dan came here in the summer of 2006 with an incredible vision as well as a specific plan on how to accomplish that vision and the results have exceeded any and all expectations," Jurich said. "In my opinion, he is second to none, not only as a coach, but also as a person and that's what sets him apart. He is a perfect fit for this baseball program, this university and this community and he's built this into something very special. Under Dan's guidance, Louisville baseball is in great hands and the future couldn't be any brighter."

McDonnell said he's grateful for a chance to continue building on the foundation he has begun.

"Tom said he wanted to get this out of the way to allow our kids and our program and our fans to focus on the job ahead," McDonnell said. "I don't like this to be about me. I said it last year, that God has blessed this program. In Matthew 6:21 it says, where your treasure is, there your heart will be. Our heart is with these student athletes. Tom's heart has always been with the student-athletes. Hopefully after this, we'll move on. As I said, we've got a combine right here at Jim Patterson Stadium. You don't have to travel anywhere. You can watch them play here. I've enjoyed this group, and we want to keep that joy as long as we can have success and advance to the next level."

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