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UB extends contract for women's basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack

The University at Buffalo athletic department announced Wednesday that it has given UB women's basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack a five-year contract extension.

According to contract terms released by UB, Legette-Jack will earn a base salary of $270,000 a year, and additional compensation of $75,000. Legette-Jack will also earn a retention bonus of $50,000 if she stays at UB past March 31, 2024. The new contract extension runs through March 31, 2024.

Legette-Jack is 143-86 in seven seasons at UB, and led the Bulls to their third NCAA Tournament berth in the last four years. The Bulls won the MAC Tournament championship in March and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history.

"I want to thank President Satish Tripathi and Director of Athletics Mark Alnutt for this opportunity to continue to grow our women's basketball program," Legette-Jack said in a news release from the athletic department. "We have done a tremendous job collectively to bring the program to the level that it is at now. We certainly want more! We absolutely want to build our program to new found heights. I am sincerely grateful to President Tripathi and Mr. Alnutt for entrusting me with this opportunity."

Legette-Jack received a five-year contract extension in May of 2018, which previously paid her a base salary of $240,000 and additional compensation of $35,000 annually. Her previous contract at UB ran through April 14, 2023.

"This definitely is a statement, not just in the MAC but nationally, that we value outstanding coaches that run first-class programs," Alnutt told The News. "We were going to put our best foot forward as for what UB can do to retain these coaches. We understand other opportunities might come about, but we want our coaches to feel appreciated, and that when other offers come, that they think long and hard about those."

Alnutt said Legette-Jack's new contract terms puts her "near the top of the MAC" in terms of the salaries of the conference's women's basketball coaches, and provides stability to an athletic program that recently lost men's basketball coach Nate Oats to Alabama.

"It’s tremendous stability," Alnutt said. "For us, to be able to retain her and extend her an additional year, and from a compensation standpoint, to reward her for the performances her team has had on the court and off the court, this contract is well-deserved.

"You look at what's happened the past few years, and winning 19-plus games in the MAC in the last five years, that's impressive. And we have confidence in her, even after losing some key pieces. I’m very confident in how she built the program and will continue to build it."

UB also faced the possibility of losing Legette-Jack, who was a candidate for coaching openings at Penn State and at Georgia Tech this spring. She told The News earlier this month that she was sought out for both openings at those schools.

"I never went after a job," Legette-Jack said. "But when people come and talk to you, you would be remiss not to listen. When people knock on your door, you have to open it and see what that conversation is about. I never put out that I wanted a different job."

Legette-Jack's new contract also includes an updated buyout clause; if Legette Jack leaves before March 31, 2020, she would owe the school $250,000. That buyout drops to $100,000 if she leaves between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, and drops $25,000 over the next two seasons. If Legette-Jack leaves UB after March 31, 2024, she would not owe the school a buyout fee.

Legette-Jack's contract also includes a buyout structure if she is terminated without cause. If Legette-Jack is terminated without cause before March 31, 2020, she will receive $1 million from UB. That buyout decreases to $600,000 if she is terminated without cause prior to March 31, 2021, then to $450,000 the following year, $275,000 prior to March 31, 2023 and $150,000 prior to March 31, 2024.

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