Colorado wants to keep Rick George around a while and affirmed that on Thursday by approving a contract extension and slight raise for the Buffaloes' athletic director.
CU regents voted 9-0 to extend George's contract through June 30, 2021, and increase his base salary to $754,314 per year. Hired in August of 2013, George's original five-year deal ran through Aug. 31, 2018, and had a base salary of $700,000.
"Just like our student-athletes, Rick George is performing at a high level and his accomplishments reflect positively on the university," chancellor Phil DiStefano said.
In the 34 months since George was hired, CU athletics has generated more than $100 million in fundraising efforts.
George has also overseen the construction of a $166 million facilities upgrade project that has given the program a new indoor practice facility for football and other sports and the Champions Center, which includes not only offices for those in the department, but state-of-the-art training equipment, a new football locker room, and a sports medicine facility open to the public. The project also remodeled the Dal Ward Center to provide better facilities for non-revenue sports.
Prior to George's arrival, there were plans for facilities upgrades, but no timetable to get it done. George revamped the plans and got it done quicker than most thought possible.
"During the past three years, Rick has exceeded everyone's expectations in fundraising and facility upgrades," DiStefano said. "We now have some of the finest athletic facilities in the country. Furthermore, I am very proud that our student-athletes' cumulative GPAs continue to rise under the leadership of Rick and his team. I hope Rick is our athletic director for a long time to come."
Based on research done by Buffzone.com, George's base salary ranks second among the 10 Pac-12 public school athletic directors. (Stanford and Southern California are private schools and aren't required to release salary information). Those associated with the CU athletic department, however, have been extremely pleased with George's tenure to this point.
"He's doing a tremendous job," said regent Glen Gallegos, a Republican from Grand Junction. "I've seen an increase in organizational professionalism in how all of our athletics and programs are run at the university. I think that he's liked by academics as well as athletics, so that he's able to work back and forth and there's not that wall. He was able to get that facility constructed and you know driving up Folsom today and seeing it all complete and cleaned up, it's a beautiful entrance to the university.
"I know nationally he's well-respected. When people talk about the University of Colorado athletics and Rick George, he brings a lot of credibility to the university."
In the amendment to George's contract, several incentives were changed:
• George would receive a $25,000 bonus for each varsity team that records a perfect APR score of 1000. His previous contract had a $10,000 bonus for each perfect score. In the latest APR report, released in April, nine CU teams scored 1000.
• If the average grade point average of all student-athletes matches or exceeds of the average GPA of all undergraduate students at CU-Boulder, George would receive a bonus of $100,000. His previous deal had a $50,000 bonus for this incentive.
• In addition to the fund raising goals already outlined in George's original contract, there were three other fundraising goals added. If those goals are met, he could receive bonuses of $150,000 in the summers of 2019, 2020 and 2021.
• George would receive a $50,000 bonus if the average attendance for football games at Folsom Field is at least 42,000. Under his previous deal, average attendance needed to reach 50,000 for him to get that bonus.
• George would also receive a $50,000 bonus if the average attendance for men's basketball games at Coors Events Center is at least 9,800. In the previous deal, that incentive didn't kick in unless average attendance was at least 10,750.
• The new deal also removed two lists of potential incentives that were included in George's original contract, one for license and sponsorship revenue goals and one for competitive success (conference and national championships).
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.