Two of the most visible members of the Gophers athletic department received contract extensions Friday that were approved by the University Board of Regents at its monthly meeting.
Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle received a two-year extension and a $125,000 annual pay hike, extending through 2026 a deal that now pays him a base salary of $975,000.
And Gophers women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen — one of Coyle’s biggest hires — received a one-year extension that will keep her under contract through the 2023-24 season.
Hired away from Syracuse in 2016, Coyle received a three-year contract extension in 2018, which kept his base salary at $850,000 with a chance to earn another $150,000 in incentives based on teams’ performances, academic results and other factors.
Coyle’s new deal includes up to $225,000 annually for those incentives, and there is a built-in 2.5% raise for his base salary each year.
“Gopher Athletics has excelled under Director Coyle’s leadership, not only winning in competition but, more importantly, setting records in the classroom and investing countless hours in community service,” University President Joan Gabel said in a news release.
Coyle added: “I am incredibly grateful for the support of President Gabel and the Board of Regents. Their belief and trust in our department has been tremendous and is a significant reason why we have been successful.”
Whalen, in her second year as head coach at her alma mater, started with a base salary of $400,000 and went 21-11 in her first season with the Gophers.
She is making $457,500 this season, and her Gophers are 15-10. It’s been somewhat of a turbulent second year for Whalen, who suspended leading scorer Destiny Pitts last month. Pitts, a junior, subsequently left the team and said she plans to transfer.
Whalen should have an infusion of talent next season thanks to the addition of Syracuse transfer Kadiatou Sissoko and a strong incoming recruiting class.
Whalen’s extension carries her through the senior seasons of those incoming freshmen.