Stan Joplin was trying to find his way to an AAU basketball tournament in Las Vegas yesterday afternoon, but he wasn't having much luck.
“I'm not very good with directions,” Joplin said. “I'm lost right now.”
Joplin has had much more success as coach of the University of Toledo men's basketball program, and yesterday he was rewarded with a new five-year contract, retroactive to July 1, that will run through the 2005-06 season.
Joplin, 44, will receive a base salary of $115,000 per season the first two years of the contract and will be paid $127,000 over the final three. He also will get $20,000 yearly in marketing income.
Joplin earned $96,999 in base salary this past season, and an additional $17,500 in marketing compensation. He had one year remaining on the old contract.
“The good thing about this contract is that it gives me some security,” Joplin said. “And that can only help me in recruiting and getting us to where we need to go.”
“This is a good deal for both the university and for Stan,” interim athletic director Mike Karabin said.
Attorney Jay Feldstein said Joplin's deal - he will earn $135,000 in compensation the first two years and $147,000 the last three - moves him from eighth place to “somewhere around third or fourth” among MAC coaches whose salaries are known.
Feldstein said two new coaches, Ohio's Tim O'Shea and Northern Illinois' Rob Judson, are earning total packages worth $190,000 and $150,000, respectively.
“Stan is satisfied with his new contract as a whole, although in every negotiation you have to have some give and take,” Feldstein said. “No. 1, he was pleased with the length of the contract. Secondly, he's happy with the fact that there's no buyout provision at any point in the five years. Not that Stan is looking to leave, but nowadays you never know what might happen.
“Thirdly, the language of the contract gives Stan a lot more input into the scheduling of games, working with the athletic director and having more say as far as assistant coaches and their salaries go. And his base salary does provide for a significant increase in the final three years, and that was very attractive.
“The one thing Stan was unhappy about was the amount of marketing income he's getting, especially when compared to what the football coach gets (Tom Amstutz will be paid $70,000 in marketing, to go along with his $120,000 base salary). Quite candidly, that was a stumbling block in the negotiations for quite some time.”
Even so, Joplin still has the opportunity to earn additional money through incentive bonuses:
“Incentives are one of the most important aspects to any coach's contract,” Karabin said. “This way, our coaches can be rewarded for their success.”
Joplin, a 1979 UT graduate, has compiled an 87-59 record in five seasons as Rockets coach. His overall .596 winning percentage ranks seventh all-time in MAC history among coaches who have coached five or more seasons.
This past season, Joplin guided the Rockets to a 22-11 mark - the program's first 20-win season in 20 years. UT also made its second appearance in three seasons in the National Invitation Tournament, where it lost to Alabama in the second round.
UT women's basketball coach Mark Ehlen also has agreed in principle to a new five-year contract. Ehlen, who is out of town, is expected to put his signature on the deal early next week, Karabin said.