By John Helsley, Staff Writer
OSU took a bold step in locking up basketball coach Travis Ford, signing the second-year coach to a rich extenstion that not only makes him one of the top 20 paid coaches in America, but makes him highly expensive to lure out of Stillwater.
His buyout: $3 million.
For more details on the deal, check out my story on Newsok.com.
Clearly, OSU athletic director Mike Holder thinks he’s got his man. And, hey, there’s reason to believe he may be right. Ford eventually galvanized his first squad a year ago, leading a late rally to the NCAA Tournament, then a win over Tennessee in the first round.
And he’s recruited well.
If Holder’s instincts are correct, Ford could become a hot commodity. He’s a young coach who plays a fast-tempo style that kids like.
There’s appeal in that.
So Holder played the aggressor here, boosting Ford’s salary to $1.8 million now (third in the Big 12 behind KU’s Self and UT’s Barnes) with escalators taking it to $2.8 million in the final years of a contract that now expires in 2019.
That’s a hefty price to beat, as is the $3 million side payment to take Ford away.
At last week’s basketball banquet, Ford worked the room hard, looking very much like a man happy in his surroundings.
Now we know OSU is happy to have him, too.
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