Coach Kayla Ard’s Contract with Utah State

It’s been a tumultuous ride for Utah State Women’s Basketball over the last few years, to say the least. After eight years with Jerry Finkbeiner at the helm, the last of which saw him turning the reigns over to his assistant coach (who also happened to be his son), Utah State decided it was time to move on. Their selection? An up-and-coming assistant coach from the University of Denver, Kayla Ard. Kayla hails from Louisiana, and the charming southern drawl is ever present when you hear her speak.

Kayla Ard

Kayla immediately brought a breath of fresh air and some much needed excitement to Utah State. She’s been great on social media, and has reached out repeatedly to Aggie students and fans alike. She’s even ponied up her own money as a prize to attend specific Women’s Basketball events. Kayla is widely accepted as a very likeable person, and the fans seemed to latch on to the excitement. The general consensus was that it was a good hire by recently departed Athletics Director John Hartwell.

Unfortunately, the new blood and excitement hasn’t led to great results on the court. In her first season at Utah State, Kayla posted a 4-20 record and a 10th place finish in the Mountain West Conference. Her second season saw some improvement to an 11-19 record and 9th place finish. However, for whatever reason, every athlete except two left the team after the 2021-22 season leaving Coach Ard scrambling to find new players to field a squad for the 2022-23 season.

The 2022-23 season has not gone well. The Aggies started off with a pair of convincing wins over Fort Lewis College (exhibition) and NAIA opponent College of Idaho. Unfortunately things went downhill from there with the Aggies losing their next five games by an average of 22 points per game. The Aggies are still searching for much needed pieces, and desperately need to find a way to gel together before conference season begins on December 29th.

A few questions have recently been posed online asking what Coach Ard’s contract terms look like. USUStats has obtained Coach Ard’s contract with Utah State, and here’s a breakdown below:

Base Pay:

Year 1 – $215,000
Year 2 – $215,000
Year 3 – $215,000
Year 4 – $215,000
Year 5 – $215,000

The base contract is five years at $215K per year plus several employee benefits and bonuses as outlined below.

Bonuses:

Team wins the National Championship = $100,000
Team qualifies as a Final Four Participant = $50,000
Team wins the Conference Tournament Championship = $15,000
Team wins the regular season Conference Championship (either outright
Champion or Co-Champion) = $15,000
Team maintains a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 960 = $5,000
Team granted an at-large NCAA Tournament Bid = $10,000
Team wins an NCAA Tournament Game = $10,000
Note: each win at an NCAA Tournament will qualify Coach for a $10,000
incentive payment.
Team invited to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament = $5,000
Team wins the Women’s National Invitation Tournament Championship = $10,000
Team is ranked (Associated Press Poll) at the end of a season in the:
Top 10 = $50,000
Top 20 = $25,000
Top 25 = $10,000
Note: This category of supplemental compensation is mutually exclusive, meaning that only one amount will be paid if the Team is ranked within the Top 25 (e.g. If the team was ranked as 14, then $25,000 would be awarded; NOT $25,000 for the Top 20 AND $10,000 for the Top 25.
Coach is selected as the “Conference Coach of the Year” by the Conference as voted by the Conference coaches = $10,000
Coach is selected as the national “Coach of the Year” by the Associated Press, the Atlanta Tipoff Club (Naismith College Coach of the Year), or the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) = $25,000
Team wins a rival game against BYU or University of Utah = $2,500

Buyout Clause (in my own words):

If Utah State were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Ard for low performance), they are required to pay 75% of the pro-rated amount of base pay still remaining on the contract.

For example, as of March 31, 2023 Coach Ard will have $430K remaining on her contract for years 4-5. If Utah State were to fire her, they would owe 75% of that remaining salary, or $322,500.

The same goes for the inverse. If Coach Ard were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. Ard leaves for another position elsewhere) the buyout would be 35% of the remaining cumulative salary owed.

Click the image below to download the official contract discussed in this article.

What are your thoughts on Coach Ard thus far in her career? What do you think of the contract? Let us know in the comments section below!

Utah State Basketball 2022-23 Pictorial Roster

Shane Rector
Jalen Moore
Julion Pearre
Koby McEwen

The 2022-23 College Basketball Season has finally arrived! There are several familiar faces on this year’s Aggie basketball squad as well as some important newcomers that will contribute this year. Check out our annual “Pictorial Roster” to get a consolidated view of the players on this team. Even print a copy for tonight’s game if you’re old school like that! Check it out by clicking below, and feel free to post questions, comments, or predictions on any of the players you see on the roster.

2022-23 Utah State Basketball Pictorial Roster

Also feel free to reminisce and check out the rosters from past seasons by changing the season in the drop down box at the top of the page (once you click the link above).

Coach Blake Anderson’s Contract Extension Details

Utah State football fans have been on quite the roller coaster ride this football season. From an early season win over UConn to a devastating loss to in-state FCS foe Weber State to a great win over a good Air Force team at home, the ups and downs have been the only thing consistent with this year’s program. Perhaps this bye week will provide fans with a chance to take a breath before the rest of the ride commences.

Head Coach Blake Anderson is in his second season with Utah State after having coached the team to an incredible turnaround and a season for the ages in 2021. In 2020, Utah State football was as down-trodden as any team could be finishing the season with a single win, while deciding to forfeit their final game at Colorado State. In 2021, Coach Anderson helped turn that around completely, leading Utah State a 11-3 record, its first ever Mountain West Championship, and two wins over Power-5 foes including a season ending Jimmy Kimmel Bowl Championship over Oregon State. This drastic turnaround resulted in Coach Anderson receiving a bump in pay and extension to his contract.

Coach Blake Anderson
Coach Blake Anderson

USUStats.com has obtained the finalized details of Blake Anderson’s modified contract. The full contract can be downloaded in PDF format at the bottom of this post. Here are the main takeaways from this contract amendment:

  • Contract terms were extended by two years, through the 2027 season.
  • Base Annual Salary was increased by $300,000 in Year 2 (2022 season).
  • Yearly Base Annual Salary Increases went from a $25K increase to a $50K increase starting in Year 3
  • Total Salary Including Media Compensation is now as follows:
    • Year 1 (2021) – $1,057,692
    • Year 2 (2022) – $1,325,000
    • Year 3 (2023) – $1,375,000
    • Year 4 (2024) – $1,425,000
    • Year 5 (2025) – $1,475,000
    • Year 6 (2026) – $1,525,000
    • Year 7 (2027) – $1,575,000
  • Reduced the buyout amount if the coach were to terminate the contract from 75% of the “Cumulative Remaining Salary” to much lower set amounts that decrease each year as follows:
    • $2,000,000 before Dec 31, 2022
    • $1,700,000 before Dec 31, 2023
    • $1,200,000 before Dec 31, 2024
    • $800,000 before Dec 31, 2025
    • $500,000 before Dec 31, 2026
    • $0 before Dec 31, 2027
  • Utah State is still on the hook to pay 75% of the “Cumulative Remaining Salary” if they terminate the coach for convenience.
  • No apparent increases in the $2,500,000 salary pool for assistant coaches.

Overall, the contract is much more favorable to Coach Anderson, and the buyout structure is much less favorable to Utah State. This is no surprise based on recent contract amendments to other coaches who have shown to be successful at Utah State. What are your thoughts on the contract extension? Let us know below.

Click the image below to download the official contract amendment discussed in this article.

Coach Ryan Odom’s Contract with Utah State

With Utah State’s season coming to a close with a heartbreaking loss to Colorado State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, the Aggies are hoping for some type of postseason tournament invite. With a NET rating of 61, they won’t be getting in to the NCAA tournament this year, but they do have a decent shot at the NIT or at worst, one of the lesser tournaments (CBI or CIT).

Utah State Coach Ryan Odom

After losing coach Craig Smith to the University of Utah in the off-season, Utah State hired Ryan Odom from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Coach Odom’s claim to fame was leading his UMBC Retrievers to a 20 point victory over Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers were the first 16-seed to ever beat a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Ryan Odom is the son of Dave Odom who coached East Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest, and South Carolina.

USUStats has obtained Coach Odom’s contract with Utah State. Here are some interesting takeaways from the agreement:

Base Pay (including $300,000 for media appearances per year):

Year 1 – $791,796 (pro-rated amount for 360 days out of 365)
Year 2 – $800,000
Year 3 – $800,000
Year 4 – $800,000
Year 5 – $800,000

The base contract is $500K per year plus $300K for media appearances. Interestingly there are no built in raises each year.

Bonuses:

Team wins the National Championship = $100,000
Team qualifies as a Final Four Participant = $50,000
Team wins the Conference Tournament Championship = $25,000
Team wins the regular season Conference Championship (either outright
Champion or Co-Champion) = $15,000
Team maintains a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 952 = $10,000
Team granted an at-large NCAA Tournament Bid = $20,000
Team wins an NCAA Tournament Game (including a First Four Game, but excluding the National Championship Game) = $20,000
Note: each win at an NCAA Tournament will qualify Coach for a $20,000
incentive payment.
Team invited to the National Invitation Tournament = $10,000
Team wins the National Invitation Tournament Championship = $10,000
Team is ranked (Associated Press Poll) at the end of a season in the:
Top 10 = $50,000
Top 20 = $25,000
Top 25 = $10,000
Note: This category of supplemental compensation is mutually exclusive,
meaning that only one amount will be paid if the Team is ranked within the Top 25 (e.g. If the team was ranked as 14, then $25,000 would be awarded; NOT $25,000 for the Top 20 AND $10,000 for the Top 25.
Coach is selected as the “Conference Coach of the Year” by the Conference as voted by the Conference coaches = $10,000
Coach is selected as the national “Coach of the Year” by the Associated Press, the Atlanta Tipoff Club (Naismith College Coach of the Year), or the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) = $25,000
Team wins a rival game against BYU or University of Utah = $5,000

Buyout Clause (in my own words):

If Utah State were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Odom for low performance), they are required to pay 75% of the pro-rated amount of base pay still remaining on the contract.

For example, as of March 31, 2022 Coach Odom will have $3.2M remaining on his contract for years 2-5. If Utah State were to fire him, they would owe 75% of that remaining salary, or $2.4M.

If Coach Odom were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. Odom leaves for another position elsewhere), it gets a bit more complicated. If he were to leave any time during years 1 or 2 (before April 1, 2023), the buyout would be 50% of the remaining cumulative salary owed. If he were to leave during year 3 or thereafter (April 1, 2023 or after), the buyout would be 35% of the remaining cumulative salary owed.

For example, if coach accepted another position on March 31, 2022, the buyout would be 50% of the remaining $3.2M on his contract for years 2-5, or $1.6M. If he were to leave on April 1, 2023 the buyout would be 35% of the remaining $2.4M on his contract, or $840K.

Differences between the Smith and Odom contracts:

A few things were different between Craig Smith’s original contract and Coach Odom’s contract. Coach Smith had a lower per-year base salary, but had built in raises each year. Coach Odom’s contract has a base salary of $800,000 per year with no raises built in. Coach Smith’s original buyout clause was 75% of the remaining contract for both Utah State and the coach if either were to terminate for convenience. Coach Odom’s buyout clause is more favorable to the coach with a smaller buyout amount that reduces even further after the first two seasons. The final two differences that I noticed were slight modifications to bonus amounts. The amount for winning a regular season championship was reduced from $25K to $15K. The amount for winning a First Four NCAA Tournament game was increased from $10K to $20K.

Final Thoughts:

With the first regular season under his belt, Coach Odom showed that he can pull off some big victories (beat Oklahoma to win the Myrtle Beach Invitational early in the year), and could compete with everyone. However, he couldn’t push the team over the hump in several key games this year that were lost by one or two possessions. A few made baskets here or there throughout the season and the Aggies would be a lock for an at-large bid. But as it stands, we are on the outside looking in hoping for a second-rate invitation for any kind of postseason tournament. Odom will likely lose some key pieces this year (Horvath, and likely Bean, Miller, and Eytle Rock), and will need to bring in some key pieces to compete for a championship in the Mountain West. What were your thoughts on Coach Odom’s first year as an Aggie coach? Let us know in the comments below.

Click the image below to download the official contract discussed in this article.

The 1951-52 Aggies & Our Shot at The Olympics

I’m working on adding game data to USUStats, and just scrounged up enough information about the 1951-52 season to add it to USUStats here: https://www.usustats.com/seasons/1951-52

Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the sport of basketball in 1891.

The USU Media Guide is wildly inaccurate for the 1951-52 season. My theory is that end of season records were kept by hand (I’ve seen copies of these) and the writer had very sloppy handwriting (I’m not kidding). Out of 31 games, 13 of them had inaccurate scores, sometimes both teams, sometimes just one team. Two of those games had inaccurate outcomes as well, ironically games against Utah and BYU. The USU media guide lists the BYU game on Feb 2, 1952 as a win and the Utah game on March 1, 1952 as a loss. In reality the opposite happened in both of those games. Our media guide also does not list game dates or whether the games were home, away, or neutral that far back, so that is information I have to find elsewhere.

The process of adding these games includes finding media guides for other teams, cross referencing them, and then searching through archives of 70 year old newspapers from various websites to validate any discrepancies. I am confident that my information is now 100% accurate for that season, but it does take a lot of time.

Anyway, at the end of the season I saw that we played several small colleges that we normally don’t play. Such as Regis, Clarion State, and Lawrence Tech. Our media guide didn’t indicate anything special about these games. Regis and Clarion State actually have online media guides with historical game data, and one of them listed the game against Utah State as an NAIA Playoff, while the other listed it as part of the NAIB Tournament.

I had heard the term “NAIA” referring to smaller colleges, but this was the first time I had heard of “NAIB”.

In 1937 Doctor James Naismith, the founding father of the sport of basketball put together the very first National College Basketball Tournament. It was held in Kansas City, Missouri at Municipal Auditorium. The goal of the tournament was to give smaller colleges and universities the ability to play to determine a national champion. A year after this tournament began, the NIT was formed, and the NCAA Tournament was formed the following year. In 1937 the tournament consisted of 8 teams and expanded to 32 teams in 1938. In 1940 the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB) was formed in association with this tournament, and in 1952 the name was changed to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and expanded to include other sports.

Cartoon about All-American candidate Bert Cook who led the Aggies to the postseason in 1952. Credit: Deseret News, January 13, 1952

Fast forward to 1952. The Aggies had a surprise season finishing tied for 2nd in the Skyline Conference led by Bert Cook who was an All American candidate that year. We somehow garnered what appears to be a “play-in” game against Regis college for a berth to the NAIB Tournament. We won the game and were invited to the tournament. That year the tournament was changed from the NAIB Tournament to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Tournament and they shortly thereafter expanded to include sports other than just basketball.

The tournament consisted of 32 teams, mostly small colleges, though it did include some recognizable schools like Utah State, Indiana State, Montana State, Portland, Murray State, and New Mexico State (then known as New Mexico A&M). The Aggies won their opening match-up before losing to Lawrence Tech in the sweet 16.

An interesting tidbit about this tournament (besides the fact that it was founded by Dr. James Naismith himself) was that the champion of the NAIA tournament and the champion of the NCAA Tournament were both invited to the Olympic Trials for the chance to represent the United States in the 1952 Summer Olympics. This was mentioned in a couple of articles I read, and you can read up more on it here.

While the Aggies ultimately fell short in that tournament, I found it very interesting that had they won a few more games they could’ve been invited to the 1952 Olympic Trials. I have to believe that Bert Cook would have had a good shot at making the Olympic squad considering his accomplishments that year and talk of All-American candidacy.

It was very interesting to me to find all of this information out from 70 year old newspaper clippings and some research. USUStats is now updated and now properly reflects our participation in the NAIA Tournament in 1952.

Coach Blake Anderson’s Contract with Utah State

What a season and what a turnaround for the Utah State football program! From a team that ended the 2020 season with the players jointly deciding to forfeit their final game, to a team that tied the Utah State record of 11 wins in a single season while claiming Utah State’s first ever Mountain West Championship. The season capped off with a convincing Jimmy Kimmel Bowl victory over the Oregon State Beavers, the second PAC-12 team to fall to the Aggies in the 2021 Season.

Coach Blake Anderson hoists the 2021 Mountain West Conference Championship Trophy

So what changed that could have led to such a drastic turnaround? The most notable change was the hiring of Coach Blake Anderson. It was recently reported that Coach Anderson has received a 2 year extension to his initial contract with Utah State. USUStats has requested a copy of this contract extension, but has been informed that it is not yet complete and signed, but should be available soon (check back later for more). In the meantime, we have obtained Coach Anderson’s initial contract and will break down the notable details below. The full official contract can be downloaded here.

Main takeaways from the initial contract:

Base Pay (including $400,000 for media appearances per year):

Year 1 – $1,057,692
Year 2 – $1,025,000
Year 3 – $1,050,000
Year 4 – $1,075,000
Year 5 – $1,100,000

The base contract is $1M per year with an increase in pay of $25,000 per year. In Year 1, coach received some pro-rated pay by being hired in late December which pushed the amount up to $1,057,692.

Bonuses:

Team wins the College Football Playoff (CFP) = $100,000
Team plays in the CFP Championship Game = $200,000
Team plays in a CFP Semi-Final Bowl Game = $200,000
Team plays in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game = $125,000
Team plays in a non-New Year’s Six Bowl Game = $75,000
Team wins the Conference Championship = $50,000
Team wins the Division Championship = $25,000
Team maintains a Multi-Year APR of 960 or better = $10,000
Team is ranked (Associated Press or Coaches Poll) at the end of a season in the:
Top 10 = $50,000
Top 20 = $25,000
Top 25 = $15,000
Note: This category of supplemental compensation is mutually exclusive, meaning that only one amount will be paid if the Team is ranked within the Top 25 (e.g. If the team was ranked as 14, then $25,000 would be awarded; NOT $25,000 for the Top 20 AND $15,000 for the Top 25.
Coach is selected as the “Conference Coach of the Year” by the Conference as voted by the Conference coaches = $15,000
Coach is selected as the national “Coach of the Year” by the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News, Home Depot, Bear Bryant, Eddie Robinson, CBS Sports, Maxwell/George Munger, Bobby Dodd, or the Walter Camp Football Foundation = $25,000
Team wins a rival game against BYU or University of Utah = $5,000

Buyout Clause (in my own words):

If EITHER Party (Utah State or Coach Anderson) terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Anderson for low performance or Anderson leaves for another position elsewhere), the party who terminates the agreement must pay the other party an amount equaling 75% of the pro-rated amount of base pay still remaining on the contract.

So when the contract was initiated that equated to a $3,980,769 buyout. At the completion of his first year (Jan 1, 2022) the buyout was $3,187,500. It goes down day by day as parts of his salary are paid. Utah State used this same formula when they signed basketball Coach Craig Smith a few years ago, and I really like it. Often times buyouts are set amount (as opposed to a percentage) if a coach gets poached, and the team is required to pay the full amount owed for the entire remaining contract if they fire the coach. It also includes a clause stating that if Coach Anderson is fired that he must seek employment elsewhere at fair market rates, and that his payout from USU would be decreased by the amount of his new paycheck.

With the news that Coach Anderson has reached an agreement with Utah State for a two-year extension to his contract, the buyout calculations will definitely change. Details on any increases in pay, or other modifications to buyout clauses are still unknown, but USUStats will publish a separate article once those details are available. Click the image below to download the official contract discussed in this article.

Utah State Head Coach Craig Smith’s Contract Extension

As the 2020-21 Men’s Basketball Season was winding to and end, it was revealed that Utah State had successfully completed a contract extension with Head Coach Craig Smith. The long-awaited news was welcomed in Aggie Nation, and is well deserved. Coach Smith has the best winning percentage of any coach in the history of the program. Not only has he been great in the regular season, but he is currently undefeated in the Mountain West Conference Tournament, winning the championship the past two seasons.

With Coach Smith and the Aggies preparing for the championship game tonight, let’s take a look at the last two amendments to Coach Smith’s contract. USUStats has obtained copies of both amendments to the contract, and the details from the original contract can be found here.

Amendment 1 (April 1, 2019)

This amendment was unknown to the general public. USUStats found out about the amendment and extension by requesting Craig Smith’s latest contract which was titled “Amendment 2”.

The main takeaways from this amendment were:

  • Contract terms were extended by one year, through the 2023-2024 season
  • Added a clause to automatically extend the contract by 1 season if the team makes the NCAA Tournament
  • Bumped the total salary up by $75,000 by increasing the “Media Compensation” in year two of the contract, and subsequently thereafter
  • Increased allotment designated for Assistant Coaches Salaries by $80,000
  • Increased incentive payments allotments for Assistant Coaches
  • Assistant Coach Incentives are earned if the team receives an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament
  • Reduced the buyout amount if the coach were to terminate the contract from 75% of the remaining contract amount to 30% of the remaining contract amount

    Download Contract Amendment 1

Amendment 2 (December 21, 2020)

  • Added two more seasons to the contract, extending it through the 2025-26 season
  • Kept the automatic extension clause for an NCAA Tournament appearance
  • Reduced the buyout amount if the coach were to terminate the contract from 30% of the remaining contract amount to 25% of the remaining contract amount

Download Contract Amendment 2