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UT extends Kowalczyk contract 2 years through 2017


Tod Kowalczyk


A better team plus better academic scores equals a better contract.

University of Toledo and its men's basketball coach Tod Kowalczyk signed off on a two-year extension Thursday, which is viewed as the administration's gratitude to Kowalczyk for overseeing dramatic improvement on the court and in the classroom in his two seasons.

The extension is for two years, setting a new expiration date through the 2016-17 season. Compensation is unchanged, with Kowalczyk still scheduled to make $340,000 next season and an additional $15,000 every year for the remainder of the deal.

"We are very excited about the faith that [athletic director] Mike O'Brien and [president] Lloyd Jacobs have given our staff," Kowalczyk said. "We're extremely excited about the future of Toledo basketball. My wife Julie, and I absolutely love living in this community and we're looking forward to building a championship caliber program."

The terms of the buyout have been tweaked to favor UT. Kowalczyk will owe $280,000 if he takes another job prior to March 15, 2014, and $175,000 if he leaves between March 16, 2014, and March 15, 2015. Under the original deal, he would no longer pay a buyout after March 15, 2013.

If UT fires Kowalczyk, it will owe whatever money is left on the contract.

A two-year rollover clause still exists, meaning if Kowalczyk is at the school on March 31, 2015, his contract will automatically be extended until March 31, 2019.

UT finished last season 19-17, tying the second biggest turnaround in the country from four wins in Kowalczyk's first season. The Rockets won 11 games combined in the two years that preceded his arrival.

Kowalczyk rectified an Academic Progress Rate mess he inherited and which resulted in the program losing three scholarships last season and a postseason ban for next year. Next year's projected score of 980 is nearly perfect.

"Tod has done a tremendous job turning around our basketball program in a short time," O'Brien said in a statement. "His emphasis on academics and making sure our student athletes graduate has helped our program begin to put our APR issues behind us. On the court, he guided us to a 15-win improvement last year that ranks among the best in the country. We're very happy to make this commitment to coach Kowalczyk and look forward to many more years ahead with him as our head basketball coach."

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