FARGO — North Dakota State finalized the contract for new head women’s basketball coach Jory Collins, meaning the school has two head coaches under contract in one sport for what is believed to be the first time in school history.
Athletic director Matt Larsen said NDSU will pay in full Maren Walseth’s contract, unless she takes another job in basketball before the sixth and final year of her deal expires after this upcoming season.
“If she took another coaching position, that salary would mitigate our obligation,” Larsen said. “It’s something we continue to monitor.”
Collins signed a four-year contract at a base salary of $155,000. It includes the standard bonuses of $20,000 for at least 20 wins in a season, $5,000 for a Summit League regular season title, $10,000 for winning the Summit tournament and reaching the NCAA tournament and $5,000 for winning an NCAA tournament game.
“I think it reflects what a lot of our coaches contracts do in terms of an opportunity to earn additional salary based on performance incentives,” Larsen said.
Collins was hired in April after NDSU and Walseth agreed to mutually part ways in March. It’s most likely the first time a Bison coach was bought out of a contract, something that Larsen said was needed “for the betterment of the women’s basketball program.”
He said Walseth's salary has already been accounted for on the balance sheet. Percentage-wise — 0.6 percent — it’s not a very big chunk in the $23.2 million budget.
“You have to make it work,” Larsen said. “We have that full payment in there and it’s accounted for in a balanced budget going into next year. It’s something we had to do so we have to make the finances work.”
On the flip side, NDSU received $150,000 when Kansas State bought out Chris Klieman and hired him as the Wildcats head football coach. It was the second straight football coaching move where NDSU received money; Wyoming paid NDSU $100,000 when it hired Craig Bohl in 2013.
With Collins signed, all of NDSU’s coaches are under contract for the coming season.