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OREM — When Utah Valley University president Astrid Tuminez introduced new men’s basketball coach Mark Madsen, she did so waving pompoms and extolling the virtues of the former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach and Stanford star.
She spoke of his track record in basketball, not just in the NBA, but as an assistant for the Cardinal, as well as his academic background — earning an MBA with a certificate in public management from the famed Stanford School of Business in 2012.
Those are the type of qualities that made Madsen the perfect fit for UVU — and one other thing stood out.
"It also continues the tradition of having a men’s basketball coach who is at least 2 feet taller than the president," said Tuminez, with the humor and candor for which the sub-5-foot president has drawn praise and won hearts in her first year at the helm of the state’s largest university.
Indeed, the comparisons to former head coach Mark Pope, who left to take the same position at nearby BYU, are striking. Madsen stands 6 feet, 9 inches — about an inch shorter than Pope’s 6-10 frame, and both played nearly a decade apiece in the NBA.
Both are faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but both eschewed recruitment from the church’s flagship institution to play Division I basketball at the highest level — Madsen at Stanford after a two-year mission in Spain, while Pope began his career at Washington before transferring to play for legendary coach Rick Pitino at Kentucky, winning a national title in 1996.
Of course, Madsen also stands on his own merits, earning powerful recommendations from Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal (among others), as well as coaches like Phil Jackson and Luke Walton.
But the man tasked with building on the legacy promoted by Pope received a contract remarkably similar to his predecessor, according to an open-records request filed by KSL.com and returned by the public university.
Madsen joins Utah Valley University — his first full-time head coaching position in the NCAA — on a three-year salary, with his official appointment running from the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, 2019, through March 15, 2022. His employment began from the signing of his contract, which was April 14 — the day he was announced as head coach.
He’ll earn $225,000 per year, which is the same Pope would have earned had he completed a six-year extension agreed upon with former university president Matthew Holland and former athletic director Vince Otoupal a year ago. But while Pope’s contract was staggered to increase his salary incrementally over the life of the extension, Madsen’s initial three-year deal is a fixed rate.
In addition to his salary, Madsen will also receive a membership to Riverside Country Club in Provo, the use of a vehicle and cellphone provided by the university, up to 10 men's basketball season tickets, and travel and lodging for him and his wife Hannah to attend the NCAA Final Four each year of his employment — the same as Pope, and similar to most Division I colleges nationally, according to available public records.
Madsen will also have incentives similar to those outlined in Pope’s last contract with UVU. He’ll receive up to $25,000 for scheduling a minimum of $150,000 in guaranteed payment, or "buy games," similar to Utah Valley’s famed back-to-back road trip to powerhouses Duke and Kentucky that were billed as the Toughest 24.
He’ll also receive up to $10,000 in bonuses based on his team’s end-of-semester GPA, a $5,000 bonus for attaining a single-year academic progress rate (APR) of 975 or above, and incentives tied to ticket sales as follows:
- $10,000 for 500 season ticket pages sold and paid in full
- $5,000 if all 58 premium courtside tickets are sold
- Up to $10,000 for selling up to 7,500 tickets to a single men’s basketball game, and $500 for selling the university’s premium Presidential Suite, valued at $2,500
- $10,000 for winning a buy-game against an out-of-state opponent
And incentives based on postseason participation, ranging from $10,000 for a regular-season Western Athletic Conference championships, $20,000 for a WAC Tournament title, $25,000 for an NCAA Tournament berth, $250,000 for advancing to the NCAA Final Four, and $500,000 for winning a national championship.
Madsen will also receive $5,000 for each win in the lower-tier College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT), and $15,000 for each win in the second-tier National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Pope made three consecutive trips to the CBI, the last of which including a program-record 25-10 season in 2018-19.
He'll also net bonuses for postseason awards, ranging from $20,000 for WAC coach of the year honors to $100,000 if he is named national coach of the year.
The contract for the full-time exempt head men’s basketball coach was signed April 14 by Tuminez, Sumsion and vice president of finance and administration Val Peterson, alongside Madsen.
"I could tell right away that Mark Madsen was a man with an immense amount of character and poise," Sumsion said. "When we talked about the game of basketball and the players specifically, his whole demeanor changed. He had already broken down game film and knew the players individually. He is intense about the game, and he is passionate about building relationships with players — not just as basketball players, but as individuals."
Contributing: Carter Williams, KSL.com