University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach Will Wade has been given a raise and an extension by athletic director David Blackburn.
Wade's annual salary will increase by $10,000 per year to $187,000 per year, and the contract has been extended by one year and now runs through April 30, 2019.
"He's done a really good job of comprehensively running the program," Blackburn said in his office Monday. "He's improved the competitiveness of the program, as well as their academic effort, and they are representing us the way we want them to.
"It's a comprehensive improvement that he's been able to lead."
Wade guided the Mocs to an 18-15 overall record and a 12-4 Southern Conference season, and he was the SoCon coach of the year in media voting for his first season at the helm.
"It's always nice when people recognize good work," Wade said. "It's says a lot about our team, our staff, and it was a collaborative effort on a lot of people's part.
"It makes you want to push harder and be even better in the coming year."
Blackburn also added three new bonuses to Wade's contract. The coach can earn $5,000 for winning a coach of the year award and another $5,000 by winning the SoCon regular-season championship. Blackburn also added 10 tickets to every football, men's basketball, women's basketball and SoCon tournament round into the contract.
"We felt that everything we did with Will here enhances his world," Blackburn said. "We hope we can keep him as long as possible."
All other aspects of the contract, including the buyout clauses for both parties, remain the same. If Wade departs after April 30, he owes 75 percent of his base pay; after April 30, 2016, it's 50 percent; and after that date in 2017, it's 25 percent.
If UTC fires Wade without cause, the school would owe Wade 60 percent of his base pay multiplied by the number of months remaining on the contract.
"We believe in him, and he's good, and it's no secret that good people get found," Blackburn said of Wade, who is high on a list compiled by ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Jeff Goodman of the best up-and-coming head coaches under 40 years old.
"If he continues to show that he knows what he's doing, then there will be other schools pursuing him," Blackburn said. "We knew that when we hired him.
"That was my hope, because that means he's done a good job here."
There were no increases to the pool of money allocated to assistant coaches -- this year.
"I'd like, in the future, to be able to take care of them and help them out," Wade said. "We were fortunate to keep the staff together this year. We dodged some major bullets, but we won't be able to keep doing that as we progress as a program."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...