Buzz Williams contract details

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Buzz Williams and his assistants will be well-paid at Virginia Tech.
Buzz Williams and his assistants will be well-paid at Virginia Tech.

Buzz Williams’ contract with Virginia Tech hasn’t been formalized, but he has signed a term sheet with Virginia Tech.

Here are the details, as handed out tonight at Buzz’s introductory press conference.

Term: Seven years, ending March 24, 2021.

Total Salary (1st year): $2.3 million, inclusive of a base salary of $500k.

Annual Increase for Length of Term: $100k per year added to total compensation. (Example: Coach Williams will receive $2.4 million in compensation in year two, $2.5 in compensation in year three, etc.)

Salary Pool for Top Three Assistants: $725,000

The total compensation makes Buzz Williams the 13th highest paid coach in NCAA basketball, as of the compensation figures included in this Dec. 7, 2013 article on Business Insider. Buzz actually slips down the list from #9 to #13, taking a pay cut from $2.8 million to $2.3 million.

The $725k salary pool for his top three assistants is a marked increase from what Virginia Tech has paid in the past. As recently as a few years ago, in the Seth Greenberg era, the top three assistants were being paid $375k per year, according to a source.

Two years ago, in response to assistant coach departures, then-AD Jim Weaver approved a $480k assistant salary pool for Greenberg, per this Washington Post article … but then Weaver fired Greenberg mere days after the article was posted.

Williams will, of course, also hire a Director of Basketball Operations, and one source tells TSL that three additional non-coaching staff positions have been approved for Williams, though this was not discussed in tonight’s press conference and has not been verified.

In any event, the total compensation of $3.025 million for Buzz Williams and his top three assistants represents a major increase in spending on coaches salaries, and indicates that athletic director Whit Babcock is serious about making a serious commitment to men’s basketball.

Buzz Williams’ contract is expected to be formalized within 90 days.

Buzz Williams contract info, handed out on March 24, 2014 at his introductory press conference.
Buzz Williams contract info, handed out on March 24, 2014 at his introductory press conference.
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17 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. 500k comes from Virginia Tech / State of Virginia and is official salary. It’s referred to as base salary because the other 2.1 million comes from the VTAF/Hokie Club. Technically speaking the Athletic Fund portion is compensation for ancillary duties like particpating in press conferences and Hokie Club events.

      There are limits to what VT can pay any employee directly. Coach Beamer’s salary is split up in a similar manner.

    1. Not sure where USA Today got their data. Multiple outlets have reported Buzz as being compensated $2.8 million.

  1. If you want to win and compete you hire a proven winner and Buzz is a proven winner. Give him time to coach, recruit and bring in 100% of the players he has recruited and then we can measure the success. One thing is certain and that is winning in the ACC is always going to be a tough assignment. It was that way in the Big East when he was sending teams to the Sweet 16 and elite 8. Again this goes back to the experience factor. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!

  2. Did Williams ever discuss why he took a pay cut to come to VT? I’m excited about his resume, but do wonder a bit about how bad it must have been in Marquette. Time will tell.

    1. “I came here for the challenge.” He avoided getting into details about his departure from Marquette.

      1. Still interested as to why he’d take the paycut unless for no other reason than the chance to coach in the ACC

        1. I can think of a lot of possible reasons. You noted chance to coach in the ACC, while the Big East is becoming 2nd tier. Add in the following possibles

          1. No longer comfortable in Milwaukee
          2. Blacksburg cost of living might make the money difference null
          3. Does he have a family? Kids? I can seriously see Blackburg being a positive for that, if he has younger kids to raise.
          4. May have heard that Whit is a great boss.
          5. Genuinely wanted the challenge.

          All of the above may not be true, but there are a lot of reasons why someone might take a 5% pay cut (give or take).

          1. All good answers. Regarding #3 (kids), Buzz has four kids (2 boys, 2 girls) all under the age of 12.

            As for why he left Marquette, I can only guess, but I would guess two things:

            1.) The Big East is a decent conference, but its primary TV contract is with Fox Sports 1 … WAY less exposure than being on ESPN. Just take a look at this schedule, and how FS1-heavy it is:

            http://www.bigeast.com/sports/m-baskbl/sched/bige-m-baskbl-sched-full.html

            2.) Sometimes, a coach just gets a feel that it’s time to go. A lot of coaches believe you shouldn’t stay anywhere longer than about 5-7 years.

          2. Good stuff Late 80s. When Coach turns things around at VT, I hope VT will be in a position to keep him from bigger-name basketball schools who will no doubt come calling.

        2. Well, if he turns VT around…he will be able to write his own contract for whatever school he wants.

      1. Exactly. The difference between $55k & $60k is huge compared to the difference in 2.4 & 2.8 million. As long as you aren’t trying to live like a rock star, the difference isn’t gonna keep you from takin’ the family out to dinner on a Saturday night.

  3. all I can say at this point is we better “win baby”!!! I support it – now let’s see where the chips may fall.

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