The University at Buffalo has reached a verbal agreement in principle to renegotiate the contract of Bobby Hurley and make him the highest-paid men's basketball coach in the Mid-American Conference, sources have told The News.
No deal has been signed. ESPN reports that an interview that is planned between Hurley and DePaul University later this week remains on.
A new deal between Hurley and UB would put Hurley above the $550,000-a-year base-salary contract that Saul Phillips receives from Ohio University. All the of the increased money UB would give Hurley was raised from university donors over the past two or three weeks, a source told The News. It will not come from the university's state budget. Alumni excitement over UB's run to its first Mid-American Conference championship and its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance pushed the fund-raising effort forward.
The oral agreement - if it's executed - would probably be expected to pre-empt any attempt to woo Hurley away from UB this year. DePaul has Hurley high on its list of candidates, numerous sources have reported. Hurley made a base salary of $250,000 this year, plus $50,000 in additional pay, plus some incentives.
The Bulls went 23-10 this year. Hurley is 42-20 in two seasons as head coach. UB loses only two seniors from this year's team and has some high-profile recruits committed for next season.
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More Hurley coverage:
Colleges start to woo UB's Hurley. Column by Bucky Gleason (today)
Profile of UB coach Bobby Hurley by Mark Gaughan (NCAA tournament preview)
Hurley's bunch triumphs with teamwork. Jerry Sullivan column (Mid-American Conference championship)
Hurley's career has second act at UB. Bucky Gleason column (March 2, 2014)
Hurley wants the spotlight on his stars. Bucky Gleason column (Oct. 15, 2013)
Bred for success: Hurley brings grit, determination to UB basketball by Bob Dicesare (Aug. 4, 2013)
Hurley's basketball IQ will be tested at UB. Jerry Sullivan column (March 28, 2013)
Hurley says UB ready to take off (March 27, 2013)
UB crowd welcomes Hurley as hoops coach by Bob DiCesare (March 26, 2013)