Coach Danny Sprinkle’s Contract with University of Washington

Within the span of 13 months, Danny Sprinkle went from the coach of Montana State University, to the new coach at Utah State University, and now the head coach of the University of Washington Huskies. Danny did an incredible job at Utah State, leading a completely newly built team to the outright Mountain West Championship and the first Utah State NCAA Tournament victory in over 20 years. He was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors. Not surprisingly, Danny was one of the names mentioned for several head coach openings after the season ended, and he quickly became the front runner for the University of Washington job.

Danny has ties to the University of Washington. His father played football for the Huskies in the 1960’s and he grew up a Husky fan. It also didn’t hurt that the Huskies offered Danny a contract that was worth more than three times what he was making at Utah State. It is rumored that Utah State gave Danny a generous extension offer that would have made him the highest paid Utah State coach in history, but Utah State’s offer simply wasn’t able to compete with Washington’s.

USUStats has acquired Danny’s initial contract (Memorandum of Understanding) with the University of Washington that details his salary and potential bonuses. The contract is worth more than $22 Million over six years not including bonuses. It includes several incentive bonuses and states that the University of Washington will pay any buyout amount due to Utah State University as a result of Danny leaving his coaching job there. USUStats contributed fifteen cents to the cause by paying the required fee to acquire the initial contract document from Washington. See the details below:

Annual Guaranteed Salary

Year 1 – $3,200,000
Year 2 – $3,300,000
Year 3 – $3,600,000
Year 4 – $3,800,000
Year 5 – $4,000,000
Year 6 – $4,200,000

The base contract guarantees six years starting at $3.2 Million with $200,000 raises each year with the exception of year 2 which offers a $100,000 raise, followed by a $300,000 raise in year 3.


APR >= 950 = $50,000
APR >= 960 = $75,000
APR >= 970 = $100,000
Conference Champion (or Co-Champion) = $100,000
Conference Tournament Champion = $100,000
Team qualifies for the NCAA Tournament = $100,000
Each win in the NCAA Tournament = $50,000
Conference Coach of the Year Award = $50,000
National Coach of the Year Award = $100,000

Buyout Details:

University of Washington will cover the cost of any payment owed to Utah State for terminating the coaching contract early.

If Coach Sprinkle leaves University of Washington for a coaching position at another college or pro team he will pay liquidated damages according to the following schedule:

  • During Contract Year One = $6 Million
  • During Contract Year Two = $5 Million
  • During Contract Year Three = $4 Million
  • During Contract Year Four = $3 Million
  • During Contract Year Five = $1 Million
  • During Contract Year Six = $0

Danny’s initial contract can be accessed or downloaded by clicking on the image below:

What do you think of Danny’s new contract? Will he succeed at Washington? Comment below.

Coach Craig Smith’s Contract with University of Utah

It’s been three seasons since Craig Smith left Utah State University to be hired as the head coach for the University of Utah. Utah’s regular season came to an end last night with a loss to Colorado in the PAC 12 Tournament. Coach Smith just completed his third regular season at Utah with a 40-40 overall record and no postseason appearances yet to his name. USUStats has obtained Coach Craig Smith’s Official Contract with the University of Utah.

The contract is a six-year agreement beginning with the 2021-22 season and ending at the end of the 2026-27 season.

Base Pay (Including Media, Appearances, and Outfitter Compensation):

Year 1 (2021-22) – $1,800,000
Year 2 (2022-23) – $1,900,000
Year 3 (2023-24) – $2,000,000
Year 4 (2024-25) – $2,100,000
Year 5 (2025-26) – $2,200,000
Year 6 (2026-27) – $2,300,000

The base pay described above includes $300,000 in base salary, $550,000 in TV and Radio compensation (with $50,000 yearly increases), $550,000 in Appearance Fees (with $50,000 yearly increases), and $400,000 in an Under Armor Outfitter Agreement per year.

Deferred Retirement Payment:

The agreement includes $50K distributed to a 403b retirement account annually.

Retention Bonus:

As long as Coach Smith remains employed on Jan 15, 2025, he is entitled to a $150K retention bonus.

Incentive Bonuses:

Gross Ticket Revenues of $2,000,000 = $25,000
Gross Ticket Revenues of $2,250,000 = $35,000
Gross Ticket Revenues of $2,500,000 = $45,000
Gross Ticket Revenues of $3,000,000 = $75,000

Pac-12 Regular Season Champion or Co-Champion = $50,000
Pac-12 Top 4 Finish (determined by conference tournament seeding) = $35,000
Pac-12 Conference Winning Record = $20,000

Pac-12 Tournament Champion = $25,000
NCAA Tournament Berth = $25,000
NCAA Tournament First Four Win = $25,000
NCAA Tournament Per Win (other than first four win) = $50,000
Conference Coach of the Year = $25,000
National Coach of the Year (Naismith or NABC) = $50,000

National Ranking (one of the following)
Nationally Ranked Top 25 at any point after Jan 1 = $10,000
Finish Season Top 25 = $25,000
Finish Season Top 10 = $50,000

APR Bonus (one of the following)
APR of 950 = $25,000
APR of 970 = $30,000
APR of 990 = $50,000

Total Potential Bonus Payout = $675,000

Buyout Clause (in my own words):

If Utah were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. Utah fires Smith for low performance), they are required to pay 100% of the pro-rated amount of base pay (including media, appearances, and outfitter amounts listed above) still remaining on the contract.

For example, if Craig Smith were to be fired at the end of the 2023-24 season, he would be owed $6,600,000.

If Coach Smith were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. Smith leaves for another position elsewhere) the buyout owed to the University of Utah would be as follows:

  1. Contract Year 1: $11,000,000
  2. Contract Year 2: $8,500,000
  3. Contract Year 3: $6,000,000
  4. Contract Year 4: $2,500,000
  5. Contract Year 5: $1,000,000
  6. Contract Year 6: $0.0

The actual contract is vague on how this schedule works, but I am assuming that if Smith leaves the team during the contract Year listed above, he owes that current amount. So if he leaves after the 2023-24 season (on or after April 1, 2024) he would owe $2,500,000 as he would be in Contract Year 4 at that point.

Click the image below to download the full initial contract agreement.

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.


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:

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.