The Washington Times - September 12, 2011, 02:18PM

New George Mason basketball coach Paul Hewitt will make $659,750 in salary according to documents obtained in an open records request from the school.

Hewitt was hired in April to replace Jim Larranaga, who left for Miami after leading the Patriots to five NCAA tournament appearances and the 2006 Final Four over 14 seasons. Larranaga’s base salary at George Mason was at least $525,000, the amount specified in his 2008 contract, and he also received a longevity bonus of $75,000 each year he remained at Mason through March 30.

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The school said Hewitt’s entire contract – which would include such things as the length of the deal, bonus structure and any possible buyout – is still pending. The only other compensation mentioned in Hewitt’s employment letter was an amount in moving expenses that was to be determined and not to exceed state limits.

Either way, Hewitt’s salary is not the only signal the Colonial Athletic Association school is investing in a program that reached the NCAA tournament’s round of 32 last season.

Two of Mason’s new assistant coaches will make six-figure salaries: Former George Washington assistant Roland Houston ($122,700) and ex-Washington Wizards assistant and advance scout Mike Wells ($100,000). Chris Kreider, who was Hewitt’s first hire at Mason and spent the last two years at Georgia Southern, will make $66,463 this season.

All three assistants also received a monthly car stipend of $350 for an annual total of $4,200 per coach.

As a recent comparison, none of Mason’s assistants earned six-figure salaries during the 2009-10 season. Eric Konkol was the highest-paid assistant at the time at $81,120, while Michael Huger ($72,800) and Chris Caputo ($57,200) made less. All three joined Larranaga at Miami.

Hewitt joined the Patriots after an 11-year stint at Georgia Tech, which bought out his contract for $7.2 million in March. Hewitt is 256-189 in 14 seasons combined at Siena and Georgia Tech, including a trip to the 2004 national title game.

In addition, Mason released the contract addendum announced in June for athletic director Tom O’Connor, the school’s athletic director since 1994. O’Connor’s new salary (excluding supplemental compensation) is $270,962. His deal runs through 2014.

Patrick Stevens