ULAA committee approves revised contracts for Dan McDonnell, Jeff Walz
The University of Louisville Athletic Association personnel committee approved revised contracts for baseball coach Dan McDonnell and women's basketball coach Jeff Walz on Tuesday.
Athletic director Vince Tyra said written agreements do not yet exist but that the contracts are considered final and will not need to be approved by the university's board of trustees as has sometimes been the case in the past.
Tyra declined to elaborate on exact dollar figures but said both Walz and McDonnell will get salary raises and that Walz also received a three-year extension.
Walz told the Courier Journal on Tuesday that the university extended his contract through 2025 with a pay bump of roughly $50,000.
McDonnell told the Courier Journal his contract remains through 2026 and said he did not know exactly how his salary and bonus structure would change.
"With a new athletic director and university president, you want to know they're appreciative of what's going on with the program and, more importantly, thinking about the future," McDonnell said. "It was never about the money. It's about what we've done over the past 12 years and realizing that investment and preparing for the future."
At the ULAA board meeting Tuesday, Tyra said Walz and McDonnell "represent a lot of what we're trying to accomplish in the athletic department."
"They've been happy here and we're just trying to keep them happy here," Tyra said. "It wasn't about just their compensation. We go down the list of things whether it be summer school, completion of a degree, whether there's facility issues and their staff. It's a program discussion as much as it is an individual discussion."
Tyra said Thursday at a press conference that he would amend McDonnell's contract, which currently has the coach earning $1 million per year through 2026. McDonnell attracted interest from Mississippi State after leading Louisville to a seventh consecutive NCAA regional final.
Tyra also discussed the possibility of extending Walz's contract in April, after Walz led Louisville to the program's third Final Four. Walz's current contract runs through 2022 and pays him $1.15 million annually.
Walz said negotiations dragged into June as he and the school attempted to get buyout numbers "in order." Walz hired a consultant in April to give him professional contract advice.
Walz credited the Louisville fan base as a major factor in his desire to stay with the Cardinals.
"We’re blessed to have fans that understand the game," Walz said. "You go some places and there's nobody there, and you come to our ballgames and they're passionate, they get loud. Our fan base is our No. 1 reason."