Mazey’s New Contract Shows Baseball Important to WVU
By Bob Hertzel
This past weekend, Randy Mazey, the West Virginia baseball coach, snuck away from it all with his wife, Amanda, and the kids to enjoy Coopers Rock.
It was a fitting place to go for when you’re there, you feel as if you are on top of the world.
And Mazey certainly is … at least the baseball world.
When he arrived in Morgantown five years ago, Mazey was taking over a rundown baseball program in an out-of-date facility, a program about to move into one of college baseball’s top leagues in the Big 12.
Attendance at games amounted to friends, family and a few hardcore fans, while recruiting was hardly what you’d call on a high level, but that was about to change, reaching its pinnacle this year.
Mazey led the 36-26 Mountaineers into the NCAA Tournament this season for the first time in two decades. Attendance in the new Monongalia County Ballpark swelled.
WVU was a hot team on the rise, so much so, his long-time pitching coach Derek Matlock was plucked away as a head coach at University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
That certainly drove home the point that Mazey himself could be just an offer away from leaving, and so it was that he and the West Virginia administration sat down and worked out a new contract, even though Mazey had remaining time on his old contract.
That this was done showed that baseball has muscled its way in among the important sports at WVU. No, it isn’t football or basketball, or maybe even women’s soccer, but it now is pushing women’s basketball and gymnastics for its place among the premier sports with a coach worth investing in.
Mazey, with a down home, easy-going manner, has changed the entire baseball picture and now he is signed through 2022 with a contract that puts him on a par with the better coaches in the Big 12, giving WVU all the parts it needs to compete.
This was important to athletic director Shane Lyons.
“The 2017 baseball season created a lot of excitement with our fans, and it was great to get our program back to the NCAA tournament,” Lyons told The Dominion Post when the contract was revealed via a Freedom of Information Act request.
“It is very important for us to keep the momentum going and this new contract will keep coach Mazey in Morgantown, keep the continuity in our program and continue the success we enjoyed last season.”
Why Lyons didn’t — and still hasn’t — see it important enough to warrant a media announcement of its own only he knows. Certainly, one would expect Mazey’s promotion to not be covered up for such a step forward in the baseball program.
The contract is more complicated than one might think, running 12 pages in length, which is somewhat embarassing to at least this columnist, who recently wrote a magazine story and was asked to give them a biography to run with it of “two or three sentences.”
The contract pays Mazey a base salary of $250,000, then a $95,000 supplemental income at the end of the first year, $100,000 at the end of the second year and $110,000 in each of the three years that follow.
He also will be given a $25,000 retention bonus on August 30 of each year.
There is a comprehensive bonus program that includes the use of one automobile, 25 tickets to each baseball game, six tickets to football games, four more to basketball games and 10 to each NCAA baseball tournament game in which WVU competes.
Mazey also has a long list of financials bonuses he can earn, provided the team achieves a 930 Academic Progress Rate, which include:
• Conference regular season championship ($30,000), conference tournament championship ($30,000), conference tournament participation ($5,000).
• NCAA tournament participation ($25,000), Super Regional participation ($50,000), College World Series participation ($75,000), NCAA national championship ($100,000).
• Top 25 final ranking in ESPN/USA Today or AP polls ($25,000), Top 10 final ranking in ESPN/USA Today or AP polls ($50,000).
• Conference Coach of the Year ($25,000), National Coach of the Year ($50,000).
• APR rating of 930 or above, as determined by the NCAA ($4,000).
• 500 season tickets sold ($2,000), 750 season tickets sold ($3,000), 1,000 season tickets sold ($4,000) and 1,500 season tickets sold ($5,000).
Of course, should the New York Yankees come calling and want to hire Mazey away as their manager on or before May 31, 2018, he would owe the school $100,000; if they or any other team or school whisks him away after May 31, 2018 but before May 31, 2019, it drops to $75,000 that he would owe and $50,000 if he leaves after May 31, 2019.
Mazey has been one of the brightest additions to the sports scene here in many years and this contract should guarantee that we all get to reap the benefits of his being here for at least a full decade.