The Warriors are six days removed from the end of a 3-9 season, their seventh non-winning year in a row.
And that means David Matlin should do one thing.
Matlin needs to take Nick Rolovich’s contract, which runs through 2020 and pays $425,000 next season, and rip it to shreds.
Then Matlin needs to give Rolovich a new five-year deal at, say, $500,000 per year.
A new deal will:
> Help recruiting: If a recruit commits now, he knows his head coach will be there to hand out a plaque on his senior night.
> Help hirings: There are two coaching slots to fill — the one vacated with Chris Naeole’s resignation and the 10th position added by the NCAA, effective in January. Contrary to common message-board beliefs, there is not a finite number of qualified assistant coaches. Proof is in the registration figures for the coaches convention (also known as the football job fair). And money is not the No. 1 priority for an assistant coach. It’s high on the list, but it’s not No. 1. What coaches want is security, and if the head guy has a long-term deal, then that’s an attraction. Check UH’s coaching history, and there is a correlation between remaining time on a contract and pool of candidates.
So how would this plan work, genius?
First, I’d take out the bonuses for the head guy (but leave them for the assistants). UH isn’t a very good saver, and like most of us, it has a difficult time stashing aside money for bonuses. So a new contract would mean a set salary for the head coach for five years. And $500,000 is still less than Norm Chow’s base and below Rolo’s comparative value among his Mountain West peers.
And if the bonus goes, the buy-out penalty should be dropped. If you work at McDonald’s and you get a more lucrative offer from Burger King, you don’t have to pay to leave the Golden Arches. The whole buyout thing is ridiculous, anyway. If a company doesn’t want employees to leave, give them reasons not to leave.
People might argue against rewarding someone who took a job without previous head coaching job. But those arguments should be made before the hiring. Besides, every head coach, at one time in his career, was hired without previous head-coaching experience. And Rolo now has two years as head coach on his resume.
I’ve always believed in buy low, sell high. Now’s the time time to invest in Rolo.