UW, Shyatt agree on contract extension

April 22.

That’s when Wyoming announced it was in negotiations for a contract extension for men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt.

July 15 was when the school announced the deal was done.

Larry Shyatt

Larry Shyatt

Shyatt’s contract was extended through April of 2020. He will receive a small bump in his base salary through the end of the contract. Although his base salary will be between $210,000 and $230,000 through life of this contract, UW athletics director Tom Burman said Shyatt made “north of $800,000” this year. Most coaches contracts at UW are low on base salary, but heavy on other bonuses and incentives.

In other words, Shyatt won’t be the highest paid men’s basketball coach in the Mountain West, but he will be in the upper half . Basically, Shyatt’s new contract is not much different than his old one.

But why did this take so long? UW has been very generous and speedy in handing out extensions to coaches in the past. Since Burman became the AD in October of 2006 that has been the case, and it also was the case from ADs before him.

This was different because of a couple of factors. One being the retention bonuses for assistants Jeremy Shyatt (Larry’s son) and Allen Edwards.

This is a new thing for UW. Burman said there was a retention deal in place not long after became the AD in 2006, but that was funded by the Wyoming Legislature, but that soon went away.

Jeremy Shyatt and Edwards will, in the simplest terms I can express, receive $50,000 bonuses apiece for the next two years if they remain on the staff, or at least are on staff after a certain day in the year. Both make at or just over $100,000 a year.

Larry Shyatt said from the start of the negotiations that taking care of his staff was the biggest factor. He wasn’t looking for a ton of more money for him. In fact, there is only a modest bump in his In a conference call with the media Wednesday, Shyatt said not only is recruiting a challenge at UW, but so is retaining quality assistants, and attracting good ones to Laramie. The retention bonuses will help.

Shyatt said Jeremy Shyatt and Edwards, along with associate head coach Scott Duncan, all have had chances to leave UW for bigger schools to become assistant coaches. Edwards was a finalist for the head coaching job at Eastern Kentucky this spring. Shyatt is loyal to his assistants, and they are loyal to him. They have played a big role in UW’s successes the past four years, including last season where it won the Mountain West Tournament title, went to the school’s first NCAA Tournament since 2001-02 and won 25 games.

Tom Burman

Tom Burman

Burman said ideally, if UW can keep its core of assistant coaches in place, perhaps it can look within for its next coach when Shyatt decides he’s done. Also, Duncan’s contract was extended for the next two years. The only thing that would have been more incentive for any of UW’s three assistants to stay was if there was a clause that stated one of them would be UW’s next coach once Shyatt was done. Other schools across the country have done this. There is no language in this contract extension for such a thing. But that could have been a sticking point in these negotiations.

Second, and although very non-specific, Shyatt had a chance to move to the NBA over the last month. Burman was quoted saying that in the news release UW sent out earlier Wednesday.

“However, during the past four weeks, coach Shyatt was contacted, interviewed and offered an outstanding opportunity in the NBA with one of the top franchises. He and (wife) Pam closely evaluated the opportunity, but after careful analysis, have determined that his heart is with this group of players and coaches and he will continue to build a great basketball program on and off the court.”

Shyatt and Burman both declined to go into detail about what NBA team and what role Shyatt would have. But Burman said that process did slow these negotiations down a bit, but did not force UW’s hand to get it done.

Whether it did or didn’t, we may never know. But as he’s always been since he came back to UW for the 2011-12 season, Shyatt was sincere about how much he and his wife like being at Wyoming, and how much he likes the direction of the program — a developmental one where he and his staff (who have been here since Shyatt returned) take players and mold them into successes on and off the floor. Shyatt even said that working with this season’s team the last five weeks, which includes six new scholarship players, has added to that excitement.

A couple of aspects I found a little interesting about the time frame in getting this contract extension done: One, Shyatt said he is an old-school guy when it comes to this. He wants to talk face-to-face with people. With a lot of travel between him and Burman since the end of the basketball season, that could have played a role in the delay.

Second, Burman said there wasn’t a big sense of urgency for him or Shyatt once UW announced it was going to talk about this since Shyatt had four years left on his previous contract. OK, then why send something out about this in the first place and let the speculation among the fans run rampant — at least at times?

In the end, and both Shyatt and UW seem happy. What are your thoughts on this, folks? Let me know what you think?

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

3 thoughts on “UW, Shyatt agree on contract extension

  1. Shyatt is a class act. I think he did a noble thing. He wasn’t asking for too much money but just wanted his assistants taken care of. I would hate to loose Duncan. That man is real class act, same with the rest of his staff. It seems like we have a bunch of winners as coaches who know how to teach players how to play well, and I am going to leave it at that.

  2. Two thoughts come to mind. First, the fair weather fans will be after both Tom and Larry’s hide if they are not able to rebuild quickly. This could be a year of struggle! we are note reloading but rather rebuilding. A big difference in this tough conference.

    Second, the announcement and the turning down of a lucrative offer in the NBA should play well with kids and their parents who would like to see the coach they sign up with be there for their son’s college career. Unfortunately the five star recruit only plan to be around a high profile team for a couple years. So they won’t be coming to Laramie no matter how much Pam & Larry likes it there .

  3. Well, it seems that a couple of members of the Board of Trustees got in the way here.
    There are concerns as to their accountability in potentially negatively impacting a hire like this. Why could a few cause such problems? There are concerns about their negative impact upon the selection of the past and now, future Presidents as well. Are we, as a University, well represented by our Board?

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