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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, August 11, 2001

Coach Wilton may accept 1-year deal

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Wilton: Will coach 10th year

University of Hawai'i men's volleyball coach Mike Wilton is close to accepting an offer for a one-year contract.

Wilton, whose contract expired May 31, will forward his decision Monday to UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida. But Wilton, who originally was seeking a five-year contract for himself and a substantial raise for assistant coach Tino Reyes, said he does not anticipate any problems.

"There are a few tweaks that need to happen, then I think it'll be good," Wilton said.

UH officials told Wilton not to discuss details of the offer publicly, but people close to the situation said he was offered an increase in his annual salary of $67,500. He also was believed to be offered bonuses for reaching performance, academic and attendance goals.

Yoshida has declined repeated requests to discuss Wilton's contract situation.

Yoshida and Wilton met three times to negotiate a new contract. On Wednesday, Yoshida made the offer to Wilton's attorney, John Komeiji. Wilton and Komeiji met yesterday morning.

"It's like volleyball," Wilton said. "The ball is back in my court. We keep rallying the ball back and forth until somebody says, 'Let's do it.' I'll look at (the offer) over the weekend and fax it back to my attorney. He deals with it. But we're getting pretty close."

Even though this is the second year in a row Wilton's contract lapsed, he said he is trying to remain upbeat. He already agreed to return for a 10th season, even if it means coaching without a contract.

Once the contract matter is settled, Wilton will focus on hiring a part-time assistant. Matt Johnson left in mid-season after being hired as the top assistant at Utah State. Wilton's son, Aaron Wilton, a former All-America player at UH, was named as an emergency hire. The position pays about $18,000 annually.

"We hope to bring (Aaron) back," Mike Wilton said.

Aaron Wilton teaches at the Loveland Academy/ Lokahi Montessori.

"They've been real good at adjusting his schedule so he can be with us for practices and road trips," Mike Wilton said.