Winthrop Athletic Director Tom Hickman announced today that men’s and women’s basketball coaches Pat Kelsey and Kevin Cook have each been given two-year contract extensions.
Kelsey’s five-year contract has been extended through the 2019 season, while Cook’s four-year contract has been extended through the 2018 season. These extensions return the contracts to their original lengths.
In his second season as the men’s head coach, Kelsey directed the Eagles to their first 20-win season in six years as they finished with a 20-13 record, while advancing to the championship game of the Big South Conference Tournament.
Cook, who was also in his second year at the helm of the women’s team, led the Eagles to their first Big South Conference championship and first NCAA Tournament appearance while achieving a school-record 24 wins. Cook has led Winthrop’s women to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.
“Athletics is a very cost-effective showcase for Winthrop, bringing the university regional and national attention. A successful basketball program is very important to our university, as it is our most publicly visible athletic program, ” said Hickman. “We believe that we have the right people leading the men’s and women’s basketball programs, and we hope to retain them well into the future. Coach Kelsey and Coach Cook are terrific ambassadors for our university and are very highly regarded nationwide.”
Both coaches’ salaries ranked fourth in the Big South Conference last season; and increases associated with these extensions will likely move them up to third in the league, depending upon increases at the other Big South institutions. Coach Cook’s salary will move to $113,000 per year and will be funded by the student activity fee. Coach Kelsey’s salary will move to $220,000 per year with the first portion of the raise funded by the student activity fee and the remaining $20,000 paid from revenue generated by basketball guarantee games. The raises for the women’s assistant coaches total $12,026. Following a promotion and a new hire, the salaries for the men’s assistant coaches will increase a total of $10,632. The assistants’ increases also will be funded by the guarantee games.
Within the men’s basketball staff, Mark Prosser was promoted to Associate Head Coach with the departure of Brian Thornton following the 2014 season. Marty McGillan was elevated to the second assistant position, and Brian Kloman was recently hired to fill the number three position on the men’s staff.
“It is very important for us to remain competitive at the mid-major level of college basketball as well as within our own Big South Conference. We are keeping our coaches’ salaries competitive so that we have the leadership our student-athletes need to compete successfully,” said Hickman.