The University of Hawaii has reportedly assembled a pay raise and contract extension offer for men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold and is working on bonuses for his assistants.
The package comes in response to a 19-13 season, the most successful by a first-year coach at the school in 37 years, and amid speculation that Arnold has received a feeler from at least one school.
Athletic director Jim Donovan refused to discuss the terms of the proposals and said, "I haven’t had a chance to talk to Gib at length; we’ve had a brief conversation."
Arnold did not reply to questions about interest from other schools but said in a text message, "We have had no formal discussion. I am heading out recruiting and I hope we will sit down when I return."
Some of Arnold’s friends say they believe he remains committed to UH and is not shopping for other opportunities.
Arnold’s base salary this season was $240,000 and he is expected to receive an additional $11,500 in bonuses under terms of a still-to-be-executed three-year contract with the school.
Arnold signed a three-quarter page "major terms for agreement" with UH and a single-page bonus schedule upon accepting the job on March 19, 2010, but a year later had yet to have a fully executed contract that spells out any penalty for an early exit. Last week, the contract was said to be out of the hands of the athletic department and "tied up" on upper campus.
Arnold’s base salary is described as "very close" to the average in the Western Athletic Conference but sixth overall in the nine-member conference, where the two highest-paid coaches, Utah State’s Stew Morrill and Fresno State’s Steve Cleveland, each made more than $450,000 in 2010-11. Cleveland was reassigned by the Bulldogs last week.
According to the "major terms of agreement" Arnold is expected to receive a $2,500 bonus for his team’s participation in the CollegebasketballInsider.com Postseason Tournament. He also receives an additional $1,000 for the first-round victory. In addition he is due $4,000 for each of two victories on ESPN.
"I was very pleased how this year went," Donovan said. "My goals for him at the beginning of the year were a place in the WAC tournament and teaching his players to win and I think he accomplished both of those goals. I think he did a great job."
But Donovan said he is also mindful "of what the overall athletic department budget situation is, so I’m trying to follow the advice of the regents and operate more like a business and make sure that, overall, we head toward an (in-the-black) budget."
The athletic department has run a deficit eight of the past nine years and has an accumulated net deficit of nearly $10 million acquired over the past decade.
UH attendance climbed 38 percent during the regular season this year, with ticket revenue up approximately $11,000 per game from last year.
There are four Division I head coaching jobs open in the West — Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Utah and Wyoming, although more could become available this month, the traditional season for coaching musical chairs.