Hugh McCutcheon has the Gophers volleyball team in its second consecutive Final Four, and as the team left for Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, the coach had a new contract extension through the 2020-21 school year.
“I’m very excited to be at a place that wants me to stick around,” McCutcheon said. “It’s great.’’
The 47-year-old coach, in his fifth season, signed the extension two weeks ago, and stands to make about $450,000 this school year, with more bonuses possible if the Gophers keep winning. The Gophers’ semifinal is Thursday night against Stanford. If they win, they would play for the title Saturday.
McCutcheon said he’d like to “just continue to build on the foundation we’ve built, and hopefully, keep this tradition of excellence and see where it takes us.’’
He guided the U.S. men’s national team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and the U.S. women’s team to the silver at the 2012 London Games. The Gophers made the Final Four last season for the first time since 2009, losing to Texas in the semifinals.
This fall, McCutcheon’s Gophers were ranked No. 1 in the nation at the end of the regular season, perhaps making it easy for Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle to sign McCutcheon’s extension on Nov. 30. In just over four years, McCutcheon’s annual base pay has doubled, and he’ll top a half-million dollars annually if he’s still the team’s coach in the final year of the deal.
McCutcheon’s annual salary is $200,000, and he will earn another $215,000 in supplemental income and retention bonuses, assuming he’s still the Gophers coach at the end of the school year. He became the Gophers coach in 2012, signing a deal that paid him $200,000 annually. McCutcheon already has made $30,000 in NCAA tournament achievement bonuses, and he would double that if the Gophers win it all Saturday.
Does he see Minnesota as a place he could spend his entire career?
“It’s hard to say, but certainly at this point, we feel very fortunate, no question,” he said. “We’re at a place where our sport matters, not just at the institutional level, but as a community. I think we’d be very hard-pressed to find anywhere that would make as much sense for us as Minnesota does.’’