How shrewd is Greg Byrne?
The Athletic Director’s contract is set to expire the summer of 2022. So, when Alabama coaches’ contracts were set for revision and renewal this summer, he gave nearly everyone a raise and an extension -- but at the same time, the extensions or signings expire the year before or the year of his contract expiry.
Why does this matter? If Byrne is feeling the heat or he needs to make a hypothetical job-saving series of hires, the University will have a year’s worth of new data points to evaluate the personnel moves, or at the least, will have concrete evidence that he is making changes in his renewal year. Clever. Clever.
Here are the checks the University cut, as well as what it means (or what we think it means).
Coach Johnson got an extension through the 2023 season and a $100,000 raise, bringing his salary to $2.9 million per year. Call this the “enthusiasm and recruiting bonus.” Coach Johnson loves it at the Capstone and we love him right back. He’s worth the money just for reinvigorating the program; those elusive wins should come this year.
One of Johnson’s adjutants, developmental guru and Associate Head Coach John Pelphrey, got extended to 2019, and he received a massive raise from $350,000 to $425,000. Good move. Coach Pelphrey has head coaching and recruiting experience in the SEC. He was brought in to revamp the offense and, with the talent the Tide has now, Pelphrey’s uptempo style of play is a good fit with Johnson’s philosophy.
Brad Bohannon got a contract identical to the one Greg Goff received: $265,000 base, plus a $160,000 talent acquisition fee (signing bonus, basically). I get the feeling this five-year deal is a steal that will have to be renegotiated in a few years.
Track & Field
Speaking of steals: As well as Alabama has done in T&F lately, coach Dan Waters was due a big raise -- and he got one, worth 13.5%, from $185,000 to $210,000. He also got an extension ‘til 2021. This was a no-brainer.
This one baffles me, frankly. The Tide’s scoring has gone down every year. Attendance has gone down every year. The program has fallen behind LSU and Florida in terms of consistency, SEC finishes, and individual accolades. The program now fights for 3rd (or worse) in the conference. Nevertheless, Duckworth’s upbeat, engaging personality, the Tide’s regional/super regional performances, and that SEC title from 2015 were apparently enough to merit an extension to 2021 and a substantial 20% raise to $195,00. This one is a head-scratcher. No one’s saying fire her yet, but nor has she merited a 20% raise based on the uneven performances her squads have strung together.
Swimming and Diving
It was a record year for the swim and dive teams at Alabama. Dennis Pursley’s $20,000 raise to $180,000 a year rates up there in the no-brainer category with Dan Waters in track and field.
You knew Mic Potter (Women) and Jay Seawell were going to get raises and extensions -- these are dominating programs. Potter: Extended until 2021 and bumped $10,000 to $215,000. Seawell: Extended until 2022 and bumped $15,000 to $240,000.