O’Brien gets 5-year extension to contract

Deal for Rockets’ AD runs through July, 2021

University of Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien.
University of Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien.

The University of Toledo announced that it agreed to a five-year contract extension with athletic director Mike O’Brien through July, 2021.

O’Brien’s previous deal was set to expire in July, 2016.

O’Brien, 60, will make $245,000 in annual base salary, an increase of about $36,000 from his previous contract. His salary, which ranks sixth in the Mid-American Conference, matches those of recently hired athletic directors at Bowling Green State University and Eastern Michigan.

O’Brien will receive a social membership at Inverness Club, and the university has agreed to contribute $25,000 annually to his retirement.

News of a new deal has been expected since June, when university president Dr. Lloyd Jacobs told The Blade he soon planned to extend O’Brien’s contract.

“Throughout his tenure Mike O’Brien has elevated the Toledo Rockets onto the national stage, while prioritizing the ‘student’ in our student-athletes,” Jacobs said. “Guided by his leadership, our student-athletes have achieved unprecedented athletic and academic excellence.

“Our community can be very proud of its athletics program under Mike’s leadership. With all Mike has accomplished, I am so impressed by his drive and desire to continue to excel and to inspire those around him to greater effort and achievement. The University of Toledo and the Mid-American Conference are the beneficiaries.”

O’Brien is in his 12th year at Toledo.

“I would like to thank Dr. Jacobs and the Board of Trustees for the support they have shown not only to me but to the entire athletics program during my tenure,” O’Brien said in a statement. “I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by incredible student-athletes, coaches, and staff who are committed to helping make the University of Toledo such a vital part of our community.”