Pope: Eustachy will be seeing dollar signs if CSU clinches berth in the NCAA Tournament

Keegan Pope

Time and time again this season, Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy has said he believes his team is an NCAA Tournament-caliber team. And he’s likely right. With two games left in the regular season, Eustachy and Co. sit at 24-5, and 11-5 in the Mountain West, with a firm grip on third place should they win out at Nevada Wednesday night and then at Utah State Saturday. The Rams’ seeding projections range anywhere from No. 7 to No. 12 in a litany of brackets, but currently, the Rams are projected to be in the field in all of them. But the third-year CSU coach’s pocketbook is assuredly hoping he is right also.

With CSU looking to clinch its third NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, and two out of the last three under Eustachy, the man behind what will go down as two of Colorado State’s best seasons in school history will see a nice windfall should the Rams make the field of 68. Eustachy and the school are locked into a contract through the 2018-19 season, with the coach making $928,200 this season before any incentives. His salary also jumps by 2 percent each season as a part of the extension he signed in July 2013.


CSU head coach Larry Eustachy, right, could see a nice financial windfall should his team make the NCAA Tournament this season. (Photo by Abbie Parr)
CSU head coach Larry Eustachy, right, could see a nice financial windfall should his team make the NCAA Tournament this season. (Photo by Abbie Parr)

Already this season, Eustachy raked in an extra $40,000 for winning at least 20 games against Division I opponents.

If Colorado State wins either the Mountain West regular season title or conference tournament next week in Las Vegas, Eustachy will garner an extra $100,000 bonus for this year.

Should the Rams qualify for the NCAA Tournament later this month, he’ll see another $200,000 in bonuses as well.

In all, Eustachy could realistically bring in as much as $340,000 in bonuses this season, raising his salary for 2014-15 to $1,268,200 before taxes. Should CSU make a deep run through the tournament, Eustachy could see his bonus total go as high as $790,000, should the Rams shock the world and win the national championship.

The only permanent jump in his base salary comes if CSU makes the Sweet 16, where he would see his annual salary jump to $1.25 million, nearly a 35 percent increase from what it is now. It would also make him the highest-paid coach in the Mountain West, leapfrogging San Diego State’s Steve Fisher. From there, he would still receive the annual 2 percent bump each year until the end of his contract or a possible renegotiation.

Here’s a breakdown of the bonuses Eustachy could see depending on the depth of the Rams’ run in the NCAA Tournament:


Additional Compensation

Win 20 or more games against Division I opponents Additional $40,000
Win either the Mountain West Conference regular season championship or the Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship (Note: If Eustachy wins both the regular season and tournament championship in the same season, a maximum of $100,000 will be paid for this achievement Additional $100,000
Qualify for the NCAA Tournament Additional $200,000
Advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament Additional $100,000
Advance to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament Additional $100,000
Advance to the Final 4 of the NCAA Tournament Additional $100,000
Win the NCAA Championship Tournament Additional $250,000


The Pope has spoken.

Collegian Sports Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at kpope@collegian.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.