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McFeely blog: Ex-Bison coach Miles making $300,000 more than predecessor at San Jose State

Base pay lifted significantly according to contract, which The Forum obtained through open-records request

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San Jose State head men's basketball coach Tim Miles is a former North Dakota State and Mayville State head coach. Terrell Lloyd / SJSU Athletics
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SAN JOSE, Calif. — It isn't Big Ten money, but former North Dakota State men's basketball coach Tim Miles will still do well at San Jose State.

In fact, he will do significantly better than his predecessor with the Spartans. Like, $300,000 better in the first year of his contract.

Obtained through an open-records request by The Forum, Miles' contract shows he will be paid $700,008 annually. The contract provided doesn't specify a length, although previous reports had it running five years.

The annual salary doesn't approach what Miles made at his previous job at Nebraska, where he coached for seven years before being fired in 2019. Miles made $1.4 million per year as a base salary when he started with the Cornhuskers and that elevated to $2.5 million his final season. He had two years left on his deal when he was fired, which Nebraska paid $2.52 million to buy out.

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Still, Miles is doing better in San Jose than Jean-Eduard Prioleau, who was the lowest-paid coach in the Mountain West for his four seasons.

Prioleau's contract paid him $400,008 annually in his first season, according to a copy obtained by the website Mid Major Madness.

Prioleau's contract, as is standard, had bonus incentives and allowed for outside income from things like shoe, apparel and equipment contracts and camps.

Prioleau, for example, included incentives for a conference championship ($20,000), appearances in the NCAA tournament ($20,000 to $250,000) and attendance ($10,000 to $45,000).

It's presumed Miles' contract contains the same clauses.

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San Jose State has long been considered the worst job in the Mountain West Conference and one of the worst in NCAA Division I. The coaching salary, program budget and facilities were all considered inferior even by mid-major standards.

Miles getting a salary boost should help alleviate some of the perception that San Jose State doesn't want to invest in men's basketball.

Still, it is an uphill climb for Miles. The Spartans have appeared in one NCAA tournament in the last 40 years and even that berth was 25 years ago. They've had just one winning season since 1993-94 and haven't won 20 games since 1980.

“Don’t major in history," Miles said at his introductory press conference in April, referring to basketball. "We’re not going to worry about the history of something that really doesn’t matter to me. We’re going to worry about going forward and pushing forward with a certain kind of mentality of running to the fight."

Miles coached NDSU for six seasons as the Bison transitioned to Division I. He coached five seasons at Colorado State, also a Mountain West member, after that and went to Nebraska in 2012. His first head coaching job was at Mayville State of the North Dakota College Athletic Conference and he spent four seasons at Southwest State of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference before being hired at NDSU in 2001.

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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