Boise State and men's basketball coach Leon Rice have agreed to a revised contract that guarantees him at least $3.16 million over the next five years and keeps him from leaving for his alma mater Washington State.
Rice was being courted by the Cougars for their head coaching vacancy and reportedly interviewed for the position earlier in the week. The Press-Tribune confirmed late Friday night that Rice had decided to stay at Boise State, and the school released details of the revised deal Saturday afternoon.
The new agreement, which is technically a revision to his previous contract, will pay him $596,573 next season – an increase of $100,000 from the salary he earned this past season – and a 3 percent raise in each of the four remaining years.
Rice's salary will increase to $671,448.17 in year five of the deal. Under the new agreement, a year will be extended to the pact for each season the Broncos win at least 18 games or make the NCAA Tournament. The previous contract extended his deal at 20 wins, and gave him a $5,000 bonus for making the Big Dance.
On Friday, WSU president Elson Floyd said at the monthly Board of Regents meeting that a job offer had been extended, but declined to name the candidate. And that came shortly before the Spokesman-Review reported that Rice had interviewed for the job.
It's unclear whether or not the job was officially offered to Rice, who graduated from Washington State in 1986. He recently finished his fourth season as Boise State’s head coach and holds a 77-54 record with the Broncos. He has guided them to three 20-win seasons in his four years.
Previous Washington State coach Ken Bone earned $850,000 per year, but athletics director Bill Moss told reporters last week that he would be willing to go higher than $1 million for the right candidate. But apparently the continuation of his rebuilding project at Boise State was more important than more money and a return to his alma mater.
Boise State went 21-13 this season and lost to New Mexico in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament. The Broncos entered the season tied for second in the preseason conference poll but failed to live up to expectations and finished in a tie for fifth.
The Broncos were the only team that made last year’s NCAA Tournament to return all five starters, but lost several close games while dealing with key injuries to starters Anthony Drmic and Jeff Elorriaga.
Boise State should be able to contend in the Mountain West next season with the return of Rice and the teams two-leading scorers in Drmic and Derrick Marks.