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October 30, 2012
On Saturday, University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino was asked about Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich's comments that he wants Pitino to sign another five-year contract extension. Pitino smiled.
"They're all talk, they never make me an offer," he said Saturday. "I think it's a PR stunt, I really do. Let's make believe we're offering and don't."
On Monday Pitino got that offer. Jurich got permission from University officials Monday to offer Pitino a new deal and the new deal was solidified Monday night.
Pitino's current contract, which was extended in March, 2010, expired in 2017 when he will be 65. Now Pitino will be under contract until June of 2022, when Pitino will be 70. The new deal offers a base salary of $3.9 million per season with incentives.
"I have said this before, but I was born a New Yorker and I want to die a Kentuckian," Pitino said,
Pitino said he loves working for Jurich, and mentioned the "great spirit" that pervades the UofL athletic department.
"We're all very, very close, and anything we can do to help each other in recruiting and support, we all do," he said, referring to the coaches in various sports. "This is the closest athletic department I have ever been involved with. Sometimes you're in your own cocoon and just worrying about your own sport. That's not the case here."
Pitino said his advisor Rick Avare told him the negotiations would only take about 10 minutes. Jurich laughed at that comment and said, "You all have heard 'coach speak' that was definitely 'coach speak.'"
Jurich said one problem he has in persuading Pitino to stick around is trying to determine how to reward the well-off coach.
"The problem is he doesn't need anything. He has it all," Jurich said. "You can't give him a horse, you can't give him tickets to the track. ... So we'll just play on his passion. Hopefully, he's leaning that way. Originally, we were going to stay with that (2017 date), but I think now ... and you've got to credit it to all these kids. I mean, there's no other way to look at it. It's not success, it's not the Final Four, it's not the number 1-2-3-8 ranking whatever we are."
"Those kids are just something special to him. I've never seen him like this with these kids. Last year he loved them and there was incredible chemistry and this year is even better than last year as far as chemistry.
"So he's having fun, and we've always had a deal as long as you're happy and healthy you'll stay and he said, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' I think one more would be fine, and then one more after that one."
The terms released in the new deal call for Pitino's base salary to be $3.9 million per season with a $600,000 retention bonus in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022.
Pitino can earn up to $775,000 in bonuses in any season based on the team's post-season performance, team GPA and other factors. Those bonuses range from a $25,000 bonus if Louisville's graduation rate meets or exceeds the school's male graduation rate to a $100,000 bonus if Pitino is named AP National Coach of the Year in any season.
With a $3 million base salary, a $900,000 retention bonus and a $100,000 Collective GPA bonus, Pitino is set to make at least $4 million this season. The Cardinals are ranked No. 2 in the nation in the preseason AP Poll.
Louisville, college basketball's most profitable program according to Forbes Magazine, is in its third season at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. The 22,000 seat arena was opened in October of 2010 at a cost of $238 million.