Ball State Board of Trustees extends coach contracts, returns money from voluntary pay cuts

<p>Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns proposes an extension to Beth Goetz’s contract at the Board of Trustees meeting July 1, 2021. Goetz&#x27;s contract was extended through June 2027. <strong>Lauren Clark, DN</strong></p>

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns proposes an extension to Beth Goetz’s contract at the Board of Trustees meeting July 1, 2021. Goetz's contract was extended through June 2027. Lauren Clark, DN

The Ball State Board of Trustees held a special meeting July 1 to commemorate the success of the athletic department and renew the contracts of multiple coaches. 

“Today is a special board meeting, and usually when you see the notice that we have a special board meeting, it’s usually some kind of a crisis that we’re trying to deal with ourselves — especially over the last pandemic,” said Board Chair Renae Conley, “but this time today, it is anything but that. It’s truly a celebration.”

The board voted to extend the contract of Director of Athletics Beth Goetz through June 2027. 

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns said Goetz has significantly helped the athletics department since she started as athletics director in 2018. 

Last year, the football team won its first Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship in 22 years, and the team ranked 23rd in the country in the final Associated Press Coaches Poll.

“The success on the court and on the field — they are a testament to Beth’s leadership,” Mearns said. 

The board of trustees also renewed four coaches' contracts during the meeting — head football coach Mike Neu through the 2025 season, head women’s basketball coach Brady Sallee through 2026, head men’s basketball coach James Whitford through 2024 and head baseball coach Rich Maloney through 2026. It also approved a contract for new men’s volleyball coach Donan Cruz. 

“Our outstanding coaches, as a group, they have a relentless passion for developing our young men and women in the classroom and in competition,” Goetz said. “Our coaches are role models who embody our Ball State values and ambassadors to the great mission of Ball State.” 

Finally, the board of trustees approved a one-time supplemental payment to specific coaches and athletics staff who took a voluntary pay cut or furlough over the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment will only restore the money staff members gave up over the year. Mearns said due to revenue from television contracts and athletic tournaments, Ball State’s athletics department was able to sustain its budget and is now in a position to restore coach salaries. 

“We were quite concerned about the potential financial impact of the pandemic on our athletics program, in fact, on intercollegiate athletics programs all across the country,” Mearns said. “Specifically, we thought we weren’t going to be able to compete at all last year, and if we didn’t compete, there’d be a significant adverse impact on the revenue associated with our intercollegiate athletics program.”

Board of Trustees member Matt Momper commended Goetz and the athletics staff for voluntarily taking pay cuts or work schedule reductions.

“It made me feel so good about Ball State [and] about your coaches and staff and what you did,” Momper said. “When the going gets tough, you guys stepped up.”

Contact Lauren Clark with comments at lnclark2@bsu.edu.

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