New Mexico Announces New 10-Year Agreement with Steve Alford

March 20, 2013

Richard Stevens NCAA Tournament Preview

Albuquerque, N.M. --- University of New Mexico Vice President of Athletics Paul Krebs has announced a new 10-year agreement with Steve Alford to remain as the head basketball coach of the Lobos. The announcement was made prior to UNM's official practice at the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The contract will take Alford through the 2022-23 season, which would make him the longest tenured coach in Lobo Basketball history.

"This is a great era in Lobo Basketball, and that is due to the leadership of Coach Alford" said Krebs. "We want to ensure that Steve Alford is our coach for the foreseeable future, and this contract does just that."

Krebs added, "When you look at the successes of the team on the court, in the classroom, and in the community, it was easy to come to this decision. Coach Alford is running a program that is something the entire state of New Mexico can be proud of."

"I have said from our first game in The Pit that this was a special place and that it was a tremendous honor to be the head basketball coach at the University of New Mexico. Now six years in, we have built a top 25 program on and off the court," said Alford. "There is no other place I would rather coach than at UNM, representing the best fans in the country. I appreciate all of the efforts of my staff and student-athletes over the last six years in building a championship program."

Alford added, "I'm very appreciative of the administration and Board of Regents for allowing me to have the opportunity to continue to lead UNM basketball. I'm very excited about what we have accomplished in our first six years, and I look forward to building on those successes in the future."

Alford is the only coach in the history of UNM to win 22 games in each of his first six seasons, and he has qualified the Lobos for the postseason in all six seasons, including three NCAA Tournaments in the last four seasons. The Lobos under his leadership have won 155 games in six years, an average of just under 26 games per season.

New Mexico has won four regular season titles in the last five years, a streak matched by only Kansas and Gonzaga, and UNM has won both the regular season and Mountain West Tournament titles in each of the last two seasons back-to-back, one of only five schools in the nation to make that claim.

The Lobos under Alford are currently 29-5 heading into their Second Round game with Harvard. The 29 wins are the second-most in school history, behind the 2009-10 teams' 30-5 record. Both the 2009-10 and 2012-13 teams earned a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament, tying a program record for highest seed.

In all six seasons with New Mexico, the Lobos have had at least one First Team All-Mountain West selection and one First Team USBWA All-District VIII selection. Alford is a three-time Mountain West Coach of the Year and a two-time USBWA District Coach of the Year.

Along with the successes on the court, Alford's student-athletes have been just as successful off the court. He has graduated nine of his 10 seniors, and all three seniors this season are scheduled to graduate. The team posted a perfect 1000 APR last year, and will have a second perfect score when it officially gets announced later this year. The team has had a program record 11 consecutive semesters of a 2.7 grade-point average or better.

Some of the points of the new term sheet (attached) include updated incentives for winning the Mountain West regular season and tournament championship, advancing in the NCAA Tournament, and for top-25 wins. Certain incentives from the previous contract have been eliminated, such as RPI and strength of schedule markers.

The new term sheet and contract will include an increased salary pool for the coaching assistants and staff and an increased buyout should Coach Alford leave the university before certain key dates. A salary increase from the previous contract has been moved up a year to the 2013-14 academic year.

"We will not be using student-fees or state funds for the increases in this new contract," said Krebs. "We will utilize revenue streams from basketball that will go toward funding this, as we understand the current economic climate on campus."

Term Sheet
Coach Steve Alford
March 18, 2013

This document will memorialize our agreement on the principal term of your new employment contract. We have agreed on the following principal terms, which will be incorporated into a definitive, written agreement. Terms are contingent upon our reaching agreement on a final written employment agreement.

Term of the contract: Ten years, commencing April 1, 2013. Contract will run April 1 through March 30. Length on the contract will not drop below 6 years. There are no additional years earned on the contract based on incentives earned.

Coach Alford will receive a $240,000 increase to his compensation for next year beyond any incentives earned this year that role into his base for next year.

Coach Alford agrees to not to open salary discussion for a 4 year period.

Unless specified in this agreement or changes are needed due to language that is outdated or no are longer accurate, remaining terms of existing contract remain intact.

University will commit to an additional salary pool of $65,000 for the basketball coaches and staff. Any raises must conform to University HR policy and must be approved by the Vice President for Athletics.

Should Coach Alford leave the employment of UNM he will be required to pay the following amount:

Prior to April 1, 2015 $1,000,000
After April 1, 2015 but prior to April 1, 2017 $500,000
After April 1, 2017 $300,000

New Incentives that read as follows:
Conference Championship $50,000
Conference Tournament Championship $50,000
NCAA Sweet 16 $60,000
NCAA Elite 8 $75,000
NCAA Final Four $125,000
Beat a top 25 team* $15,000

*ranking at the time of the game, capped at a maximum award of 3