Boise State announces contract extension for men’s basketball coach Leon Rice

Boise State announced it has extended the contract of men’s basketball coach Leon Rice through the 2017-18 season, and an increase in pay from a little more than $445,000 per year to $482,100, with an additional 3 percent each year.

Rice also will earn an automatic one-year extension each time Boise State wins 20 games or reaches the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s a milestone for us as we go and build this program,” Rice said. “… the administration here has been terrific. They want us to build a basketball program here.”

Athletic director Mark Coyle said there also will be a bump in the salary pool for Rice’s assistants.

“It’s a huge step — Leon’s obviously done some special things here,” Coyle said. “Any time you can keep a coach that’s the right fit for your program, that’s a great spot.”

Coyle noted that he had initially begun discussions with Rice about a new contract late in the season, continuing to do so in Dayton during the Broncos’ NCAA Tournament appearance, and even last week while he was on spring break in Florida with his family.

Here is a story I wrote last month about what Rice has accomplished, along with Coyle noting the school was already “aggressive” then about keeping Rice.

Here is the release from Boise State:

Boise State Announces New Contract Terms for Rice

BOISE, Idaho – Boise State University and men’s basketball head coach Leon Rice have agreed in principle to new contract terms, Director of Athletics Mark Coyle announced Wednesday.

The terms, including an increase in salary and a two-year extension, are subject to approval by the Idaho State Board of Education.

“We are very excited about the direction of the Boise State men’s basketball program,” Coyle stated. “Leon and his staff have done an outstanding job the past three years, and we want to make sure we are continuing to move forward.”

Rice’s contract is slated to be extended until March 31, 2018, and will be automatically extended by one additional year for each season in which the Broncos either make the NCAA Tournament or win at least 20 games during the season – including games played in the Mountain West Tournament, the NIT or the NCAA Tournament.

Rice’s salary for fiscal year 2014 will increase by $43,500 to $482,110, and will increase by three percent annually thereafter.

Supplemental compensation in the amended contract includes $5,000 for an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament, and the remaining financial amount of game guarantees for nonconference road games, less travel costs and $50,000 to the athletic department general budget.

The buyout for Rice’s contract has also been increased to $175,000.

“I am excited about the continued growth of this program, and I am humbled by the positive outpouring of support of the Boise State administration and Bronco Nation,” Rice said.

Rice, hired March 26, 2010, led the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament in 2012-13, just his third season leading the program. The NCAA Tournament bid was just the sixth in school history, the second in the last 19 years and the first at-large selection for the Broncos all-time.

Rice has led Boise State to two 20-win seasons in his first three years with the Broncos, the first head coach in school history to accomplish the feat and the fastest head coach to reach 50 wins at Boise State all-time. The Broncos went 21-11 this past season, finishing tied for fourth in the Mountain West – the top-rated league in the country per the RPI.

Attendance at Taco Bell Arena has soared to its highest mark in more than a decade under Rice, and the four crowds of more than 10,000 this past season are the most since 1988-89 – a span of 24 years.

In 2010-11 Rice put together the finest campaign for a Boise State first-year men’s basketball head coach, one that culminated in an appearance in the conference tournament championship game and just the fourth postseason appearance in the last 17 years. The Broncos went 22-13 (.629) in his debut season, making Rice the winningest first-year head coach in school history.”

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