Buffalo Coach Jim Whitesell Agrees to Five-Year Contract: Salary, Buyout, Incentives

Former Buffalo Coach Nate Oats built off of the success of his predecessor, Bobby Hurley, who took the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2015, by leading Buffalo to the tournament three times in his four seasons as the school’s head coach.

Now, new Buffalo Coach Jim Whitesell will look to the do the same after Oats was hired by Alabama this offseason.

Whitesell, who was the head coach at Loyola Chicago for seven seasons and spent the last four years as the associate head coach at Buffalo, agreed on April 6 to a five-year contract with Buffalo that runs through April 5, 2024.

Stadium obtained a copy of the memorandum of understanding via public records request.

He has an annual guaranteed base salary of $300,000, plus supplemental compensation of $100,000, which isn’t included in typical benefit calculations.

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Whitesell will have the opportunity to earn performance-based bonuses, which are outlined below.

  • $10,000 – 20 regular season wins
  • $15,000 – 24 regular season wins (not cumulative)
  • $15,000/$15,000 staff salary pool – MAC East Division outright championship
  • $30,000/$30,000 staff salary pool – MAC regular season outright championship
  • $30,000/$30,000 staff salary pool – MAC Tournament championship
  • $25,000/$25,000 staff salary pool – At-large bid to the NCAA Tournament
  • $10,000/$10,000 staff salary pool – Round of 32 appearance
  • $15,000/$15,000 staff salary pool – Sweet 16 appearance
  • $20,000/$20,000 staff salary pool – Elite Eight appearance
  • $35,000/$25,000 staff salary pool – Final Four appearance
  • $50,000/$30,000 staff salary pool – National championship appearance
  • $75,000/$40,000 staff salary pool – National championship
  • $5,000/$2,500 staff salary pool – At-large bid to the NIT
  • $5,000/$2,500 staff salary pool – NIT second round appearance
  • $5,000/$2,500 staff salary pool – NIT quarterfinal appearance
  • $7,500/$5,000 staff salary pool – NIT semifinal appearance
  • $10,000/$5,000 staff salary pool – NIT championship appearance
  • $15,000/$10,000 staff salary pool – NIT championship
  • $15,000 – MAC Coach of the Year
  • $15,000 – Regional Coach of the Year
  • $25,000 – National Coach of the Year
  • Annual APR rate (non-cumulative)
    • $5,000 – 960 or above
    • $10,000 – 970 or above
    • $15,000 – 980 or above
    • $20,000 – 990 or above

NCAA minimum multi-year academic progress rate (APR) must be met in order to activate compensation.

If either party – Whitesell or the university – terminates the contract with the other party before the end of the contract term, here’s how much either party would owe the other:

  • $700,000 – Through April 5, 2020
  • $600,000 – April 6, 2020 through April 5, 2021
  • $500,000 – April 6, 2021 through April 5, 2022
  • $400,000 – April 6, 2022 through April 5, 2023
  • $300,000 – April 6, 2023 through April 5, 2024

 

If Whitesell is fired without cause before the end of his contract, he has a duty to “make reasonable and diligent efforts to obtain new employment in a comparable coaching position,” in order to offset the amount Buffalo would owe him.

Whitesell will also receive a monthly car stipend of $400, a university cell phone and laptop, 14 tickets to all men’s basketball home games.

MORE: Up-To-Date List of College Basketball Coaching Changes