FAYETTEVILLE — Jimmy Dykes will receive $450,000 annually as Arkansas’ women’s basketball coach.
Dykes’ letter of agreement with the Razorbacks was obtained through a Freedom of Information request Monday, outlining the details of his four-year contract.
Dykes will receive $250,000 annually in base pay and $200,000 more for speaking engagements and other appearances. The letter of agreement also includes athletic incentives that could pay him up to $325,000 more annually. Dykes could add up to $12,000 more for academic achievement incentives as well.
His letter of agreement also contains financial incentives for ticket sales. Dykes would receive $10,000 for 1,500 season tickets sold or $20,000 for 2,000 season tickets. He could earn $20,000 more if Arkansas has an average total paid attendance of 5,000 or more a season, according to the letter of agreement.
“I’m a pretty low maintenance guy at my core,” Dykes said about his agreement with Arkansas on Sunday. “Money doesn’t drive me. (Athletic director) Jeff (Long) has made a good commitment to me there, so at the end of the day, money was not the issue. Maybe even taking a little bit of a pay cut, to be honest with you. But I’m pouring myself into something, that again, for this job, maybe not for other jobs, but for this job, I think I’m the best person in the country right now.”
Dykes would owe the university the base total of his annual salary ($250,000) for each year remaining on his contract if he left the program. Arkansas also would owe Dykes his annual base salary for any year remaining on his contract — with partial years prorated — if he were terminated for convenience by the program.
Dykes contract also includes a non-compete clause, which prohibits him from leaving for another Southeastern Conference program during the length of his agreement with the Razorbacks.
Arkansas was paying former coach Tom Collen, who was fired earlier this month, $415,691 annually. The Razorbacks still must pay Collen $250,000 a year for the final two years of his contract under the terms of his buyout agreement.
Beth Bass, who is the CEO of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, spoke out about Arkansas’ decision to hire Dykes on Monday.
It wasn’t a statement of overwhelming support. In fact, Bass called the decision to hire Dykes — who has never been a women’s basketball coach or a head coach — “disappointing” before welcoming him to women’s basketball.
“Arkansas’s decision to hire someone who has not coached basketball in 23 years is disappointing to the multitude of more-than-qualified coaches who are members of our association,” Bass said in a statement on the WBCA’s website.
“That being said, in this post ‘Val Ackerman white paper era,’ we all are placing renewed emphasis on reinvigorating the growth of our sport by promoting women’s basketball programs within our respective communities in the belief that the renewed fan interest will trickle up. The WBCA, in fact, is conducting a daylong seminar on this very subject this Friday in Nashville.
“If the Arkansas administration believes Jimmy Dykes, because of his celebrity, his ties to the university, and to the Fayetteville community, is the best person to reinvigorate support for and fan interest in Razorback women’s basketball, then we will not second guess them from afar. I welcome Jimmy to the women’s basketball community and look forward to working with him to grow our game. And I certainly hope to see him this weekend at the WBCA National Convention in Nashville.”
The WBCA was founded in 1981 to promote women’s basketball by “unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport.”
Two assistants staying
Dykes will have to hire a staff for the first time in his career, but said Sunday night two spots already have been filled. Tari Cummings and Amber Shirey, who were assistants under Tom Collen, will remain on staff.
“I can speak for myself and probably for the team, saying that change is scary,” Arkansas guard Calli Berna said. “So the fact that he’s keeping two of our assistant coaches that know us well, they know everything about us. So I think that’s helpful for us to have them there, lean on them during this change.”
Dykes said he still has two spots to fill on his staff, but plans to take his time.
“I’m not going to be a in a hurry,” Dykes said. “National signing date is coming up in a couple of weeks. We have room for another player or two if the right one’s out there. If we can get them fine. If not, I’m fine with who we have and the ones coming in. It’s more important for me now to take my time. My phone has blown up with a lot of people wanting to talk to me. So I’ll just wait and see who’s the best.”
One of Dykes’ first priorities is taking and passing an NCAA recruiting test.
Coaches must pass the test about NCAA recruiting rules and regulations before they are permitted to speak with prospects. Dykes said he hoped to pass on the first try.
“I’ve had friends in coaching before who said they didn’t do it on the first try, but that will be my goal,” Dykes said Sunday night. “I’ll get locked in on that recruiting test starting probably about midnight (Sunday).”