I wrote a story about UND men’s basketball coach Brian Jones receiving a contract extension, but it wasn’t exactly the article I thought I’d be writing.
UND announced Tuesday that Jones received a two-month contract extension to buy time for negotiations. I received a copy of his contract today as I requested it to see the financial details, but it’s just an extension of his previous deal in terms of pay and benefits.
I think it was strange enough that Jones was in a lame-duck situation during the 2016-17 season. You don’t usually see a coach go into the last year of his contract at this level. Usually, he’s given an extension earlier so he has a chance to give recruits some assurance he’ll be around when they get to campus. Or, if you’re not happy with him, you cut ties and pay his buyout.
And now, there’s clearly some sort of negotiation holdup. It would be tough to be too critical on this because some of the hangup can be attributed to UND athletic director Brian Faison having to deal with some personal, family issues. However, there’s still been a lot of time to pass between the end of the hoops season and now.
One interesting angle right now is how many scholarship offers this staff has been throwing out, despite the lack of a deal in place. The Des Moines Register just had a short write-up about how UND has been very active in Iowa, but I’ve also seen quite a few new offers out in Minnesota and even a new one today in the Chicago area.
USA Today reported Jones made the least amount of any coach in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. He was listed there at $109,273 annually — more than $10,000 less than the next guy.
So how much of a bump is he going to see?
South Dakota just signed Craig Smith to a three-year deal for $275,000 per.
South Dakota State’s T.J. Otzelberger is signed for $300,000 a year.
North Dakota State’s Dave Richman is right around $200,000.
I’d be very surprised if UND thought it could afford anything near those South Dakota deals, but I’m sure coach Jones is pushing for something in the ballpark of Richman.