New basketball coach just the first step

Updated: April 12, 2005, 5:57 PM ET
Associated Press

MONROE, La. -- Louisiana-Monroe is ready to sink more money into men's basketball. Beginning with the new coach.

Orlando Early agreed to a four-year contract with a base salary of $115,000 per year, with incentives. Former head coach Mike Vining was paid in the neighborhood of $80,000.

"We're going to have to grow that number," athletic director Bobby Staub said. "In order to do that, we've got to go out and fund raise. But we're committed to helping him be successful."

Staub said that the pool for assistant salaries and other staff members will also increase. ULM will move all sports into the Sun Belt beginning with the 2006-07 season.

"We're going to have to increase that pool of dollars for support personnel," Staub said. "Not only for coaches but possibly secretarial as well. We're going to have to grow that budget to help him be able to compete."

ULM president Jim Cofer said the Carr Report, a review of the school's athletics department last summer, defined the advantages of increasing support for the move up.

"We have to raise the money," Cofer said. "You're going to have to put some money in basketball to be competitive in the Sun Belt. It's that simple."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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