POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 12, 2011
In raising the Hawaii softball program’s national profile, head coach Bob Coolen is expected to see a raise in pay.
A salary adjustment to Coolen’s current contract is making its way through the approval process and would put him near the top among Western Athletic Conference softball coaches.
Coolen is in the second year of a five-year contract that originally paid him around $87,000 per year. According to a source, Coolen would make just over $100,000 per year for the remainder of the deal under the proposed salary increase.
UH athletic director Jim Donovan said the raise is “based on last year’s performance,” when Coolen led the Wahine to the program’s first appearance in the Women’s College World Series.
Donovan and Coolen declined to comment on the amount of the raise.
Coolen said he had discussions with UH officials on a possible pay increase last summer, but hadn’t seen the new contract and declined to comment until it is finalized.
Longtime Fresno State coach Margie Wright, who guided the Bulldogs to a national championship in 1998 and is the NCAA’s all-time leader in wins, is the WAC’s highest-paid softball coach, reportedly making $145,000.
Coolen became the softball program’s third coach in 1992, and has compiled a record of 745-440-1 in 20 seasons. UH has won three WAC regular-season championships under his leadership and claimed its first conference tournament title last year. The Wahine also won the Big West title in 1994 in his third season.
He has also taken UH to the NCAA regionals nine times, including three of the past four years. UH advanced to the NCAA super regionals in 2007 and again last spring, when the Wahine upset top-seeded Alabama. They won their opening game at the WCWS before losing twice to end the year at 50-16.
UH is currently 28-12, 6-3 in WAC play, and spent most of the season ranked in the Top 25. The Wahine take a three-game winning streak into a road series at Louisiana Tech, which begins Friday.
The Star-Advertiser’s Ferd Lewis contributed to this story.