By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
ARDMORE — Winning a national championship means a lot more money in the bank at Oklahoma. Softball coach Patty Gasso and her staff reaped the benefits Wednesday.
The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved huge pay raises for Gasso and assistant coaches Melyssa Lombardi and Tripp Mackay.
Gasso received a 40-percent bump in annual salary, from a previous figure of $215,000 to $350,000. The five-year deal she agreed to will escalate her salary by an additional $10,000 every year through the 2018 season. If Gasso is still OU’s coach on June 30, 2018, she will receive an additional $375,000.
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said Gasso’s raise wasn’t strictly based on OU winning the national championship earlier this month.
“She’s been with us 19 years and 19 years we’ve been in the NCAA tournament,” he said. “Her team has been ranked somewhere in the Top 25 every year that poll has been in existence. We’ve been consistently strong in the conference and generally battling for the conference title. We’ve played really well over the years in the NCAA tournament and had appearances in the College World Series more often than not. And we’ve played for the national championship the last two years and won it this year.
“There are a lot of strong programs in college softball, but Oklahoma really has to be the model program that people point to. She’s leading it and we’re grateful that she is.”
Lombardi received a 30-percent pay raise to $120,000. Mackay also picked up a 30-percent bump to $100,000.
The contracts of OU football coach Bob Stoops, men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger and women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale were not on the agenda. However, members of their staffs also received raises. Kruger’s assistants Steve Henson, Lew Hill and Chris Crutchfield and operations director Mike Shepard all received $10,000 raises. Coale’s assistants Jan Ross and Chad Thrailkill and operations director Guy Austin also received $10,000 bumps. Women’s assistant Pam DeCosta was awarded an additional $15,000.
Jozef Szendrei, strength coach for both basketball programs, received a $20,000 raise.
The only football-related contract reviewed was director of sports enhancement Jerry Schmidt. He received a 10-percent raise to $270,000. The rest of the football staff received raises in March.
Rowing coach LeeAnn Crain, women’s golf coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell, men’s golf coach Ryan Hybl, volleyball coach Santiago Restrepo and men’s tennis coach John Roddick all had their contracts extended through the 2018 season along with raises of less than 10 percent.
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