The Washington Times - October 26, 2011, 10:16AM

For those who missed it in today’s dead-tree edition, George Mason released new basketball coach Paul Hewitt‘s contract per an open records request.

Hewitt, whose base pay is a previously revealed $659,750, received a five-year deal. That’s on top of the $7.2 million he’s receiving over five years as a buyout from Georgia Tech.


But the interesting thing here isn’t necessarily what Hewitt’s making from the Fairfax school. Rather, it’s a comparison between how much he’s making and what similar clauses existed in former coach Jim Larranaga‘s deal.

That got spelled out to some degree at the other end of the link above. But a more extensive look —- in chart form! —- does the job as well.

As a reminder of the two coaches’ resumes: Hewitt has a national title game appearance (2004) and five NCAA bids total in 11 years at Georgia Tech; he has six NCAA trips in 14 years including his stint at Siena. Larranaga (who left for Miami) had a Final Four appearance (2006) and five NCAA bids in 14 years at George Mason; in 25 total years as a Division I head coach, he has five NCAA appearances and six NIT invitations.

Hewitt agreed to his deal in 2011. Larranaga’s last substantial reworking of his deal at Mason occurred in 2008 after declining to take the job at Providence.

Both contracts permit the coaches to pursue television/radio appearance fees, speaking fees and commercial endorsements.

One major financial issue in Larranaga’s deal is absent from Hewitt’s. In Larranaga’s 2008 deal, an amendment was added to assure the university would provide $150,000 “for the sole purpose of facilitating non-conference home games or tournaments for the George Mason Men’s Basketball Team.” That guaranteed money to lure in nonconference opponents is not in Hewitt’s contract.

And one last note: Some of Larranaga’s numbers (most notably base pay) were likely a bit higher than his last contract stipulated when he departed Mason based on “annual salary increases … provided in a manner consistent with those provided to Administrative and Professional Faculty throughout the University, and as a result of the annual performance review.”


Base (Through)
$659,750 (2016)
$525,000 (2016)
Wins Bonus $20,000 for 19 reg-season wins +
$25,000 for 22 reg-season wins +
$25,000 for 25 reg-season wins
$10,000 for 19 reg-season wins +
$15,000 for 22 reg-season wins
Longevity $85,000 (stay through March 1)
$75,000 (stay through March 30)
Academic $35,000 for team 3.0 GPA OR
$50,000 for team 3.1 GPA OR
$75,000 for team 3.2 GPA
2% base for team 3.1 GPA OR
5% base for team 3.15 GPA OR
10% base for team 3.3 GPA
Awards $10,000 for CAA coach/year
$25,000 for national coach/year
$5,000 for CAA coach/year
$10,000 for national coach/year
NCAA bonus
$50,000 for NCAA bid +
$50,000 for NCAA Round 2 +
$50,000 for NCAA Round 3 +
$50,000 for NCAA Round 4 +
$75,000 for NCAA Final Four +
$100,000 for NCAA champion
10% base for NCAA bid +
5% base for NCAA Round 2 +
5% base for NCAA Round 3 +
10% base for NCAA Round 4 +
10% base for NCAA Final Four +
10% base for NCAA title game +
20% base for NCAA champion
NIT $10,000 for NIT bid +
10% base for NIT semifinal +
20% base for NIT champion
$10,000 for NIT bid +
20% base for NIT semifinal +
30% base for NIT champion
Enhancement Fund 
$5,000 access
$5,000 access
Golf Club Membership  
Yes Yes
Automobile Loaner (Chevy Tahoe/comparable) 
Loaner (Ford Expedition/comparable) 
Tickets 25/game 25/game
Housing One year assistance
Buyout by school Remaining base salary on deal
Remaining base salary on deal
Buyout by coach Remaining base salary on deal
$0 between season’s end & July 15
Remaining base at other times


So Hewitt won’t make as much as Larranaga would have if Mason made a deep run in the NIT, and he doesn’t have a window of three-to-four months to jump to another job without penalty. Otherwise, pretty much all the numbers are more lucrative for the new Mason coach rather than the old one. Which, based on the escalating costs in college sports —- including the CAA —- shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

—- Patrick Stevens