Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell to get new contract, Tyra says
University of Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell will get a revised contract after declaring he will stay on with the Cardinals rather than take a job at Mississippi State.
The Courier Journal reported Wednesday that McDonnell would not be leaving for Mississippi State, and Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said Thursday that "tweaks" will be made to McDonnell's contract.
The addendum will be discussed at Tuesday's meeting of the University of Louisville Athletic Association personnel committee. Tyra did not disclose details of the new contract but said the meeting is mostly a "formality" to finalize the terms.
McDonnell's current $1 million per year contract runs through 2026. The salary puts him among the highest paid coaches in college baseball along with TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle ($1.4 million) and Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan ($1.25 million).
Tyra said that while McDonnell's new deal won't make him No. 1 on that list, he believes the terms to be competitive.
"Compensation has changed dramatically in baseball and will continue to change," Tyra said. "I'm aware of where we can go, what I believe our opportunities are inside of our own budget. I've been clear with Dan on that."
McDonnell was rumored for months as a candidate for the Mississippi State job because of his long-time association with athletic director John Cohen. McDonnell told the Courier Journal he had talks with Cohen about the position but declined to specify if he received an offer.
McDonnell said he was flattered to be pursued by another program but felt he wanted to continue building a legacy at Louisville.
"At some point as a coach you ask yourself, 'When are they going to know you're just really happy at your school and you're at a great school and you're not looking to go anywhere else?'" McDonnell said. "But I guess on the other side you realize there's several coaches that seem to keep being mentioned over the past two or three years, and maybe it's good to be in that group. It's not something I'm looking for, but I'm very appreciative that I've been lumped in a group with successful coaches."
A Mississippi State athletics spokesperson declined comment Thursday on questions about whether Cohen offered McDonnell the job.
"We know why people want to flirt with Dan," Tyra said. "The wins that he's had over his career are a part of it, but what he's produced – a lot of high-quality kids – and the feedback we get from parents is validating of why people want to flirt with Dan. And I think we're willing to make sure we're on a date together for a really long time and that this is where he's going to stay."
In 12 seasons at Louisville, McDonnell has amassed a 554-222 record while guiding the Cardinals to four College World Series appearances. This season marked Louisville's seventh straight year playing in an NCAA regional final.
"The monster's been built and we got to feed the monster," McDonnell said. "I think the expectations are at an all-time high. I think the fans expect it, the media expect it and I want college baseball to expect it."