COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M basketball head coach Billy Gillispie and Aggie Director of Athletics Bill Byrne announced Friday that Coach Gillispie has agreed to a new contract with Texas A&M University.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents met in College Station on Friday and voted to approve the new contract.
“I am thankful for the commitment Texas A&M continues to make to allow us to do the things we need to do, to achieve our ultimate goal—winning a national championship,” Gillispie said. “The commitment has been there since day one and continues to grow stronger still. While it’s embarrassing to me to be compensated so well to perform my passion for a school I love, I am sincerely appreciative of the efforts of Bill Byrne, our university administration, the board of regents and everyone associated with Texas A&M for their personal support they continue to show. We will continue to do our best to try and make the Texas A&M family proud.”
Coach Gillispie and the Aggies put together a 27-7 record in 2006-07, the most wins in school history. The Aggies advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since Shelby Metcalf and the 1980 Aggie squad turned the trick. The Aggies defeated Penn and Louisville in the first and second rounds in Lexington, Kentucky, before dropping a one-point decision to Memphis in the regional semifinals. For the first time in school history, Texas A&M advanced to the NCAA Championships in back-to-back years. In Big 12 action, the Aggies fashioned a 13-3 record for a second-place finish, one game back of regular-season champion Kansas. It marked the Aggies’ highest finish ever in Big 12 history.
“I am so proud of Billy and the job he has done here at Texas A&M,” Byrne said. “I said when we hired Billy that I thought he was the perfect fit for Aggieland and the State of Texas. He is a former Texas high school coach and he and his staff do a great job of recruiting. The winning is impressive, but I especially like how Billy stresses the value of an Aggie degree. All six Aggie seniors will have their degrees by this August. He is committed to his team and we are committed to Billy and his basketball family.”
“Last year we talked about the commitment of the new practice facility, additional support staff and improving the marketing of our basketball programs,” Byrne explained. “Along those lines we started reworking Coach Gillispie’s contract a couple of months ago, while he was focused on winning basketball games. The proper time to finalize details of a contract is at the end of a coach’s season.”
Gillispie’s old contract contained a base salary of $500,000 and his supplemental income that gave him $1.2 million a year. Last year, the regents approved a $1 million bonus if he fulfilled the life of the contract which was set to expire in March 2012.
The proposed contract also stipulates a base salary of $500,000 but with supplemental income that moves his yearly total to $1.75 million and extends the contract three years to the end of March 2015. He will still receive the $1 million bonus if he fulfills the contract to 2012, but will also receive an additional $750,000 if he fulfills the new contract to 2015. These figures exclude any incentives for post-season or championship play.
“With this contract, I believe Coach Gillispie is among the Top 10 coaches in terms of income and he is clearly a Top 10 coach in every other way,” Byrne said.
Gillispie was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year and is a finalist for NCAA National Coach of the Year. His overall record at Texas A&M is 70-26 in three years. Including two years at UTEP, he has an overall record of 100-58 on the collegiate level the last five years.
Gillispie is no stranger to the NCAA Tournament having taken teams to the dance in three of the past four years (UTEP in 2004, A&M in 2006 and 2007). Gillispie inherited a team that posted a record of 0-16 in Big 12 regular-season play in 2003-04 and finished 7-21 overall. His first year in Aggieland (2004-05) the team responded with a 21-10 overall record and an 8-8 mark in Big 12 action. The team won two games in the post-season NIT before dropping a close game to St. Joseph’s.
Gillispie is the first Texas native to coach the Aggies since the mid-1930s and his last three recruiting classes have been ranked among the Top 15 nationally. He is the only coach in college basketball history to coach the nation’s most improved team in consecutive seasons (2003-04 at UTEP and 2004-05 at Texas A&M.)
Not only has Gillispie won, he has developed players such as Aggie seniors Acie Law, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Marlon Pompey, Logan Lee and Josh Johnston. Law is the first consensus All-America in Aggie history and was named the winner of the prestigious Bob Cousy Award presented to the nation’s top collegiate point-guard. Kavaliauskas was a second-team All-Big 12 selection and Pompey was an excellent all-around player and a defensive stopper.
“Another thing I love about Billy’s team is the sense of family,” Byrne stated. “They are a close-knit group who build each other up and push each other to be the very best. They really personify the term ‘Fightin’ Texas Aggies’ because they battle every time they take the court.”
Gillispie Head Coaching Record Follows:
Year School Season Conference Post-Season
2002-03 UTEP 6-24 3-15 NA
2003-04 UTEP 24-8 13-5 NCAA (0-1)
2004-05 Texas A&M 21-10 8-8 NIT (2-1)
2005-06 Texas A&M 22-9 10-6 NCAA (1-1)
2006-07 Texas A&M 27-7 13-3 NCAA (2-1)
Five Years 100-58 47-37 5-4