Utah basketball: Here’s what the U assistant coach earns. Chris Burgess

What did it take for the University of Utah to lure popular and highly respected assistant basketball coach Chris Burgess away from rival BYU?

A significant pay raise, for starters.

According to the new employment contract that Burgess signed with the U. last month, the former Runnin’ Utes player will receive $265,000 a year to join second-year coach Craig Smith’s coaching staff.

What Burgess was doing at BYU as one of four-year-old coach Mark Pope’s three assistants has never been publicly disclosed because BYU is a private institution not subject to government open records requests. However, a source familiar with current assistant coaching contracts in the state said Burgess’ pay raise “is probably very significant.”

Another source said Burgess earned $130,000 at BYU and said weeks before Burgess’ contract was released on Tuesday that they expected him to at least double his salary by moving to the United States.

For comparison, Smith earns around $1.9 million a year, while Utah women’s basketball coach Lynne Roberts signed a contract extension last month that will earn her $679,500. per year until 2027, with an annual retention bonus of $30,000.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said BYU coaching salaries will increase when the Cougars join the Big 12 in 2023, if they haven’t already. Several assistant football coaches confirmed to the Deseret News in January and February that they had indeed received raises.

Another interesting aspect of Burgess’ deal is that it is for two years and will expire on April 1, 2024, if not renewed before then, according to the contract obtained by Deseret News.

More than 90% of college basketball assistant coaches have one-year contracts. However, there is a growing trend in the industry of signing highly sought-after assistants, such as Burgess, to multi-year contracts as an added incentive to entice them to move on.

Assistant coaches work long hours, especially during the season, and rarely have a day off.

According to the contract: “The parties acknowledge that the hours of work for the assistant coach will fluctuate from week to week due to the seasonal and general nature of athletics. The Assistant Coach will work a minimum of one hour per week and will normally not work more than 80 hours per week.

The rest of Burgess’ contract is mostly boilerplate. He gets use of a cell phone, laptop, iPad, etc., but must return those electronic items if he is fired or quits.

Other benefits include 15 days of paid vacation and a monthly allowance of $600, paid quarterly, to be used for the purchase/rental of an automobile for work-related activities.

Utah’s coaching contracts also include what the school calls an “Excellence Achievement Plan” to award regular-season and playoff achievement bonuses. Assistant coaches are eligible to receive a minimum of 10% of the bonus pool, sometimes more at the head coach’s discretion.

Here’s how the Utah bonus pool works (by staff):

• $15,000 if the Utes are regular season or Pac-12 tournament champions.

• $15,000 if Utes participates in the NCAA Tournament.

• 7.5K if Utes wins a top four game in the NCAA Tournament.

• $15,000 if Utah qualifies for the Round of 16.

• $15,000 if Utah advances to the Sweet 16.

• $15,000 if Utah advances to Elite Eight.

• $15,000 if Utah advances to the Final Four.

• $15,000 if Utah advances to the NCAA basketball championship game.

• $15,000 if Utah wins the NCAA National Basketball Championship.

BYU assistant basketball coach Chris Burgess answers a question during an interview at the Marriott Center Annex in Provo on Friday, May 3, 2019.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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