New coach wants OSU women to compete with elite

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm •  Published: April 17, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Both Kevin McGuff and Ohio State have a lot of money riding on their new union.

The 43-year-old McGuff made his first official appearance as the new women's basketball coach of the Buckeyes on Wednesday.

"For somebody who grew up in Ohio and coaches women's basketball, this is always the job I've looked at as saying if there was one job I could ever have it would be that one," McGuff said at midcourt of the team's arena. "And if there's one job where I thought I'd be an amazing fit and could do a fantastic job, it was Ohio State."

After spending nine years as the head coach at Xavier and the past two at Washington, the Hamilton, Ohio, native said it was good to be back home. He takes over for Hall of Fame coach Jim Foster, who was fired after an 18-13 season — his first during his 11-year tenure without 20 wins or a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State is paying McGuff $850,000 a year, not counting performance and academic bonuses, along with $500,000 in retention payments if he remains on the job through the 2020-21 season. He also received a $700,000 signing bonus.

He can earn up to $150,000 more if his team has a high grade-point average. If the Buckeyes win at least a share of the Big Ten's regular-season title, he gets $20,000 plus an additional year onto his contract. Win the conference tournament, he receives $40,000 and an additional year. Plus, if he gets Ohio State into the NCAA tournament — where it had been for Foster's first 10 seasons — he'll get $40,000. Subsequent steps in the NCAAs would fatten his paycheck by $20,000 on up to $100,000 for winning the school's first national championship.

Since he signed a contract extension just three weeks ago at Washington, where he was 41-26 the last two years with two trips to the WNIT, McGuff is on the hook for a $1.75 million buyout.

"That's his responsibility," said Miechelle Willis, that associate AD who oversees Ohio State's women's program.

McGuff and his wife Letitia have six kids, including a newborn. He was asked how he will pay off the buyout owed to UW.

"We're still working through it," he said.

His family could not be with him for his introduction.

"The logistics weren't (there) to get everybody from Seattle to Columbus," he said with a laugh.

Foster, who has a record of 783-307 in 35 years as a head coach at Saint Joseph's, Vanderbilt and Ohio State, was fired on March 19. One of the reasons stated by Willis was "postseason production, or lack thereof."