For most of his football life, Tom Amstutz has been hanging around the University of Toledo - as a fan, a student, a player, an assistant coach, and most recently as head coach of the Rockets. It looks like he will be hanging around a little longer.
Amstutz and university officials have agreed on a two-year extension to his contract, which keeps him signed with the Rockets through the 2007 season. Amstutz had three years remaining on the original five-year contract signed in 2001, so the two-year extension means that Amstutz and UT have again committed to each other for the next five years.
Amstutz, 48, was named the school's 24th head coach in December of 2000 after Gary Pinkel left to take the head-coaching job at Missouri. In his first two seasons in charge, Amstutz went 19-7 and twice led the Rockets to a share of the Mid-American Conference's West Division crown, two appearances in the league title game, a MAC championship in 2001, and two bowl game appearances.
His base salary of $128,544 per year did not change. The marketing compensation Amstutz receives - money for television and radio appearances and speaking engagements - was increased from $70,000 to $80,000 per year, with the additional money coming from private funds.
Some of the incentives in Amstutz's contract were re-written to reflect the changes in the MAC's bowl relationships. Amstutz will receive an additional $20,000 if the Rockets win the West Division and the MAC championship game, and a bonus of 10 percent of his base salary if they play in a bowl game.
“This is a signal from the institution that we want coach Amstutz and his staff to remain at UT,'' athletic director Mike O'Brien said. “They have been very successful, and we feel it is important to show Tom, his staff, his players and our fans that we have a long-term commitment to him and his program.''
Amstutz, a Toledo native, enrolled at UT in 1973 and eventually earned a spot on the football team in his sophomore year in 1974, playing for head coach Jack Murphy. He was a student assistant with UT in 1977, then a graduate assistant, then an assistant coach.
He stayed at UT until 1986, when he left to serve three years on the staff at Navy. Amstutz returned to Toledo in 1990 and served as an assistant until he became head coach almost three years ago.
“I'm happy that our administration appreciates what we've accomplished and has shown a high level of support and commitment to our program,'' Amstutz said.
“I'm glad that I can just concentrate on coaching football now, and don't have to think about other things.”
- MATT MARKEY