Saturday, May 3, 2008

Huggins signs 11-year deal

WVU coach gets $1.5 million per season


— West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins signed an 11-year contract with the school on Friday that will keep him at his alma mater until he's 65.

The deal will pay Huggins $1.5 million a year, plus incentives. When he arrived in April 2007, he was paid $800,000 in his first season.

"It's a great day for myself and for my family," Huggins said. "To be able to represent this great state is an honor."

Athletic director Ed Pastilong said the contract keeps Huggins at West Virginia "for the remainder of his coaching career," and it's possible the contract could go beyond age 65.

"This is a good marriage," Pastilong said.

The contract includes a $4 million buyout, the same amount the university is suing former football coach Rich Rodriguez for after he left for Michigan in December.

When Huggins arrived at West Virginia, he agreed to a five-year deal outlined in an offer sheet. Recently, he signed a contract with WVU that was similar to the original agreement. Administrators then suggested the university make it a long-term deal.

When asked why it took a year to sign a contract, Huggins said, "When you get older, things don't seem to be as urgent."

The Mountaineers went 26-11 this season and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.


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