Coleman’s deal: 3 years, $150K annually

The Commercial has obtained a copy of Arkansas-Pine Bluff football coach Monte Coleman’s new contract through the Freedom of Information Act.

Coleman, who is heading into his sixth year as the Golden Lions’ head man, was given a three-year deal retroactive to Jan. 1 with an annual base salary of $150,000. The contract, which expires Dec. 31, 2015, may be extended for two years should funds become available during its term.

The salary is a raise from his original five-year deal, which called for a base of $100,000 per year but projected an increase of $120,000 by July 1, 2011.

Coleman continued to work under a gentleman’s agreement shortly after his original contract expired Dec. 31, 2012. The new contract is dated June 18, 2013, but Coleman announced July 15 during SWAC Media Day in Birmingham, Ala., the deal was approved three days before the event.

Incentives for Coleman under the new deal include:

• 2 percent of his gross annual salary if the Golden Lions win seven games;

• 3 percent if the Lions win eight games;

• an additional 4 percent if the Lions win the SWAC Western Division title or appear in a postseason bowl game (there are currently no bowls for SWAC teams, but the conference’s division champions meet in the SWAC championship game);

• an additional 5 percent if the Lions win the SWAC championship;

• an additional 3 percent if he is named coach of the year; and

• “whenever possible, through partnerships which may be established with local automobile dealerships,” a courtesy automobile to use during the contract. The vehicle will be insured as part of the University of Arkansas system’s fleet.

Unlike in his original contract, no incentive was listed for a student-athlete graduation rate of 70 percent or better.

This past season, UAPB finished 10-2 and won the SWAC championship, defeating Jackson State 24-21 in overtime on Dec. 8 in Birmingham, Ala. The 10 wins are the most in school history, and the title was UAPB’s first outright. Coleman was named coach of the year by virtue of the victory.

Heritage Sports Radio Network declared UAPB its national champion as the No. 1 ranked team in its final FCS poll, and Sheridan Broadcasting Network ranked the Lions No. 2 in its final black college poll, which encompasses all divisions. Coleman’s contract does not call for any incentives for such achievements.

If Coleman is fired for any reason at any time during the initial three-year term of the current contract, he will be due his base salary over the remainder of the contract. Thereafter, if the contract has been extended, he will be due the lesser of his base salary for the remainder of the contract or for an 18-month period from the date of termination. Coleman must make a reasonable effort to obtain further employment, the income of which will reduce his guaranty from the university.

If Coleman resigns to accept a head or assistant coaching position within a NCAA Division I institution, he will have to pay the UA system $150,000. He must give the university seven days’ notice to accept such employment.