When the season was canceled, the University of Alabama was well on its way to another productive softball season. The Crimson Tide was a top 10 team by several rankings and had just won its first SEC series of the season. A 13th appearance in the Women’s College World Series was well within the realm of possibility.
For the softball coaching staff — head coach Patrick Murphy and assistant coaches Alyson Habetz and Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro — a trip to the WCWS could have meant $65,090.17 in contract bonuses, not including additional bonuses for a SEC regular-season championship or coach of the year awards for Murphy.
If UA were to win the national title, those bonuses would have climbed to at least $108,483.62 among the three of them.
The COVID-19 pandemic canceling collegiate spring sports has taken a lot away from a lot of people. The NCAA has since granted an additional year of eligibility to athletes, but coaches are also losing out on a chance to earn performance-based incentives in their contracts. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, The Tuscaloosa News learned how much money coaches left on the table due to the pandemic.
In addition to NCAA postseason bonuses, the softball staff would have collected a total of $43,393.45 in bonuses if they won the SEC regular-season championship.
“We, like everyone else, are dealing with uncertainties,” UA Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said in a statement to The Tuscaloosa News. “I’ve been using the crystal ball analogy a lot lately. None of us have them, so we are unsure of what the coming weeks or months are going to look like. A good bit of what we’ve been working through during this time is fluid in nature, so it makes decision-making in hypotheticals challenging. Our goal is to have a full fall sports season, and we will adjust, if necessary, as we have more information.”
Byrne’s statement did not address The Tuscaloosa News’ question regarding one complicated bonus system: track and field.
The bonuses for head track and field/cross country coach Dan Waters and all of his assistants — Mark’Quis Frazier, Will Palmer, Miguel Pate, Blaine Wiley and Derek Yush — have bonuses for SEC championships, qualifications for NCAA championships and success at the NCAA level. For example, each coach gets a half-month’s salary bonus check for six individuals or more qualifying for the NCAA Championships, three-fourths of a month’s salary for eight qualifiers or a top 25 finish as a team, one month’s salary for 10 qualifiers or a top 10 team finish and two months of salary for winning a team national championship. One bonus is awarded based on the highest level of achievement accomplished.
The catch is the bonuses are awarded for the best performances by a men’s team and best performance by a women’s team across all three sports: cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.
Both the indoor and outdoor championships were canceled due to the pandemic, so it remains unclear if the coaches will receive no bonuses or if they will receive bonuses based on cross country performance. If the bonuses were awarded on cross country performance, the coaches would not receive any bonuses for the women’s performance but would receive three-fourths month’s salary for the men finishing 24th at the NCAA meet.
The golf and tennis coaching staffs are also missing potential performance-based bonuses. The men’s golf team, ranked 34th in the most recent golfstat.com rankings, were most likely heading for the NCAA Tournament, which would have resulted in a $10,083.33 bonus for head coach Jay Seawell and a $2,670.49 bonus for assistant coach Jon Howell. Had the team made it to the NCAA Championships, those bonuses would have climbed to $20,166.66 and $5,340.98, and more bonuses could have come depending on success in the NCAA Championships.
The women’s golf team was ranked 18th, also well on its way to the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Mic Potter and assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel would have received $9,791.66 and $3,017.50 bonuses, respectively, for reaching the NCAA Tournament and $19,583.33 and $6,035 bonuses for advancing to the NCAA Championships.
Men’s tennis head coach George Husack and assistant coach Dimitar Kutrovsky had UA ranked 26th at season’s end, and the likely NCAA Tournament appearance to come would have netted them bonus checks of $5,625 and $2,500, respectively. The women’s tennis team ended its season on a four-match losing streak in its first four matches of SEC play, but if it had rebounded for a NCAA Tournament berth, head coach Jenny Mainz would have received a $5,833.33 bonus check; assistant coach Jonatan Berhane has no performance-based incentives in his contract.
The baseball team ended its season 16-1, and if the season ended in the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014, head coach Brad Bohannon would have received a $11,041.66 bonus while assistant coaches Jason Jackson and Jerry Zulli receive $7,291.66 and $6,534.37 bonuses, respectively.
Rowing head coach Glenn Putyrae could have received $12,500 bonuses for winning the conference and for a top 10 finish in the NCAA Championships, with a $6,250 bonus if the team fell short of a top 10 finish in the NCAA Championships. The bonuses for assistant coaches Grace Barbara and Madison Keaty would have been $3,733.3 and $4,675, respectively, for a conference title and top 10 NCAA finish, while a NCAA Championships finish outside of the top 10 would have netted them $1,866.66 and $2,337.50, respectively. Assistant James Mulcahy does not have performance-based incentives in his contract.
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or email@example.com or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson
|Alabama coaches bonus breakdown|
|Coach||Win SEC||NCAA Tournament bid||World Series/
|Brad Bohannon (B)||$22,083.33||$11,041.66||$22,083.33|
|Jason Jackson (B)||$14,583.33||$7,291.66||$14,583.33|
|Jerry Zulli (B)||$13,068.75||$6,534.37||$13,068.75|
|Patrick Murphy (S)||$22,916.66||$6,742.71||$22,916.66|
|Alyson Habetz (S)||$13,485.42||$6,742.71||$13,485.42|
|Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro (S)||$6,991.37||$3,495.68||$6,991.37|
|Jay Seawell (MG)||$20,166.66||$10,083.33*||$20,166.66*|
|Jon Howell (MG)||$5,340.98||$2,670.49||$5,340.98|
|Mic Potter (WG)||$19,583.33||$9,791.66*||$19,583.33|
|Susan Rosenstiel (WG)||$6,035||$3,017.50*||$6,035*|
|George Husack (MT)||$11,250||$5,625*||$11,250*|
|George Husack (MT)||$11,250||$5,625*||$11,250*|
|Jenny Mainz (WT)||$11,666.67||$5,833.33*||$11,666.67*|
|Jonatan Berhane (WT)||No incentive||No incentive||No incentive|
|Glenn Putyrae (R)||$12,500||$6,250*||$12,500**|
|James Mulcahy (R)||No incentive||No incentive||No incentive|
|Grace Barbara (R)||$3,733.33||$1,866.66*||$3,733.33**|
|Madison Keaty (R)||$4,675||$2,337.50*||$4,675**|
|NOTE: B = baseball, S = softball, MG = men’s golf, WG = women’s golf, MT = men’s tennis, WT = women’s tennis, R = rowing|
|*Not cumulative bonuses, only one bonus given for highest achievement|
|**Not a cumulative bonus, given for a top 10 finish at NCAA Championships|
|UA Track and Field coaches bonus breakdown|
|Coach||Win SEC||6 NCAA qualifiers||8 NCAA/
Top 25 team
Top 10 team
|*NCAA bonuses are not cumulative, one awarded for highest achievement for both men’s team and one for women’s team|