With his new contract, East Tennessee State University Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Forbes is making more money than his counterparts at several other mid-major programs with a history of recent multiple NCAA tournaments, according to USA Today data.
ETSU made Forbes the highest paid coach in the Southern Conference two weeks ago. The university increased his base salary to $400,000 and also gave him a $50,000 external relations stipend and $200,000 yearly retention bonus.
USA Today data shows Forbes now makes more than coaches at Iona, Albany, Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State and Texas Southern. Those coaches, all at school’s that have made the NCAA Tournament at least three times in the last five years, make between $250,000 and $511,000, according to USA Today.
ETSU’s made the NCAA Tournament once in Forbes’ first three years. ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland said the university used the USA Today data when negotiating Forbes’ new contract, which runs through 2023.
“We’re looking at a national market and I also recognize that coach is someone who is sought after by institutions across the country,” Dr. Noland said recently.
Dr. Noland previously said retention and respect were driving forces for the new contract.
“If we’re able to do the things that coach’s set in terms for himself, we want to be in the NCAA Tournament year after year after year,” Dr. Noland said. “We put something together that allows us to hopefully keep Coach Forbes and his family at ETSU for a long time.”
ETSU played on national television for a chance to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year Monday night. The Bucs lost to UNC Greensboro in the SoCon championship game, according to Forbes, likely ending ETSU’s season.
Forbes addressed his future after Monday’s loss in Asheville.
“I signed a contract two weeks ago,” Forbes said. “I have a great job. I love it here. Who wouldn’t love it here? Look how many people we brought here tonight. It will continue to grow, because it will continue to get better. We’ll learn from this.”
Forbes said barring a life changing opportunity he plans to stay at ETSU through the end of his contract.
“All of these experts in the room here picked these guys fourth and every year I’ve been here we’ve finished above where we’ve been picked, so maybe you guys need to wise up a little bit, because we’re going to be here. I’m just kidding,” Forbes said about his team. “Won 25 games man. That’s a lot of wins. That’s a lot of wins. Unfortunately, you’re going to remember the last one, but that’s just the way it goes.”
In addition to the USA Today data, ETSU released a comparison sheet a spokesperson said the athletic director used when trying to retain Forbes. The sheet lists several well-known coaches, their salaries, terms and buyouts.
The coach whose team beat ETSU Monday also received a contract extension this season. UNCG’s Wes Miller is now making $233,000, according to a spokesperson. Forbes makes more than twice as much. When ETSU hired him in 2015, his original contract included roughly $200,000 annually. He’s now guaranteed at least $650,000 a year.
Copyright WJHL 2018. All rights reserved.