CRAWFORD | Louisville enhances McDonnell's contract, extends Walz through 2025
The University of Louisville has agreed to contract extensions for baseball coach Dan McDonnell and women's basketball coach Jeff Walz.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville Athletics Association personnel committee voted to enhance the contracts of women's basketball coach Jeff Walz and baseball coach Dan McDonnell in a meeting Tuesday morning.
McDonnell and athletics director Vince Tyra had announced previously that they had agreed on a new deal, but a vote of an athletics association subcommittee Tuesday morning approved the terms, which aren't immediately available because contracts haven't been drawn up. McDonnell, among the nation's highest-paid baseball coaches, had been a target of Mississippi State for the head coaching job.
Athletics director Vince Tyra said McDonnell's contract, which already runs through 2026, likely won't be extended, but that he'll receive an increase in his $1 million base salary.
Walz, whose contract runs through 2022, will get a three year extension, along with a raise to his base salary of $1.15 million, plus incentives.
"I'm really excited to extend my contract," Walz said in a statement released by the university. "It's not just important to me, it's important to our entire staff. It's nice to know where you are going to be for an extended period of time and I'm excited about the future."
Tyra said that both contracts will include incremental bumps in base salary, and that, "we looked around to make sure that their incentives were in line with what other coaches contracts look like."
"They've been happy here, and we're just trying to keep them happy here," Tyra said. "We've had great discussions, and been in constant contact with Jeff and Dan. When you've got these quality coaches, they're going to get approached, they're going to have opportunities out there, but I think what we have here is what they want. That's my role, to make sure that going forward we're on the same page, and we make it possible for them to stay here and be a part of the University of Louisville."
McDonnell's baseball team won 43 games and reached the championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament last season, reaching an NCAA regional before falling at Texas Tech.
Walz, whose contract talks had appeared to stall for a while, led the Louisville women to the Final Four last season and loses just one starter, while adding one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. It was the third trip to the Final Four for the Louisville women under Walz.
"It just wasn't about their compensation, but we go down the line and look at the whole program, whether its summer school and completion of degrees, whether its facility issues or their staffs, it's a program discussion as much as it is an individual discussion. . . . These coaches see the upside in what we have, and they know we're not done investing in them and in their programs. I think it speaks volumes to our fans. These are the leaders. They have the inside look at things. I can go out and do things, but when the coaches speak, signing up for long-term extensions and so forth, I think that says a lot."
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