Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice has turned down the vacancy at Washington State, his alma mater, a source close to the Boise State program confirmed early Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon, Boise State announced he would remain with the Broncos.
With the announcement, it was announced that Rice will receive a $100,000 increase in salary for next season, which means he will make $596,573. For the remaining four years, through the 2018-19 season, Rice will earn an additional 3 percent. He will also earn an extra year on his contract for each season the Broncos win 18 games or reach the NCAA tournament.
“I am really excited for the future of Bronco basketball,” Rice said in a statement. “There has been a great commitment to grow this program. There’s a commitment from our administration, our student-athletes and our fans. That’s what has me looking forward to continuing to build what we have here at Boise State.”
The agreement is pending State Board of Education approval and is stated as an amendment to his contract.
ESPN.com’s Andy Katz tweeted at 12:12 a.m. MT Saturday that Rice has agreed to stay at Boise State and will accept a pay raise. The Idaho Statesman confirmed the report minutes later. Rice interviewed with Washington State earlier this week, the Statesman learned Friday night.
Rice is 77-54 in four seasons at Boise State, leading the team to 20 or more wins three times. The Broncos went 21-13 in 2013-14, but decided not to play in the postseason after being passed over by the NIT on March 16. Rice signed a contract extension last year that pays him $482,000 per year, with a 3 percent increase each season. He previously was making just less than $440,000 per season. After winning more than 20 games this season, it earned him an automatic one-year extension through the 2018-19 season.
With Rice returning, the Broncos are expected to have a strong core back, led by seniors-to-be in Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks, ranked seventh and 11th, respectively, on the school’s all-time scoring list. Freshmen signees David Wacker and Chandler Hutchison are expected to join the team this summer.
On Friday afternoon, The Spokesman-Review reported Rice interviewed for the same position at Washington State.
Rice, who was an assistant from 1998-2010 at Gonzaga, is a 1986 graduate of Washington State. The Cougars fired coach Ken Bone after five seasons last Tuesday. Washington State athletic director Bill Moos recently stated he was willing to pay the next coach in the $1 million per year range, keeping up with current pay to other Pac-12 coaches.
On Friday morning, Associated Students of Washington State president Taylor Hennessey tweeted out that Moos had extended an offer to a new coach, but had yet to accept.
On Saturday, the Spokesman reported that Washington State was not taking no for an answer, as the school’s president and Moos are hoping to convince Rice to accept. It is unknown if they did travel to Boise or not.