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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Coach Trapasso's pact has academic incentives

 •  Ferd Lewis: For a change, UH came out a winner

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

The contract new University of Hawai'i baseball coach Mike Trapasso will sign today underlines the increasing academic focus the Rainbows are asking their coaches to take.

Mike Trapasso becomes a Rainbow today.

Georgia Tech photo

Pending approval of the Board of Regents, provisions in the agreement will reward Trapasso for reaching team grade-point average and graduation goals, school officials confirmed.

"We're looking at offering some economic benefits to reward (coaches) for exceeding academic goals," said athletic director Hugh Yoshida. "We believe student-athlete academic performance is an important part of our mission."

In addition, UH is studying ways that revenue or attendance goals might be worked into future contracts.

Yoshida declined to discuss the amounts Trapasso could receive or the targets he was being asked to reach, saying they were still being worked out.

The only incentive clause consistent with all coaches' contracts is the so-called "postseason bonus," which rewards coaches with up to a month's pay for reaching NCAA championships. Those who qualify for National Invitation Tournament or Women's NIT postseason events might also be awarded bonuses, though they are not automatic.

When football coach June Jones was hired in 1998, a provision was inserted in his contract that pays a bonus based upon the grade-point average of incoming freshmen recruits. UH officials declined to disclose the amount or details.

Yoshida said the focus on academics, in line with the department's five-year plan, will be added to all new contracts, beginning with Trapasso's.

Goals will be set for team grade-point average and graduation rates. At Georgia Tech, where Trapasso was the top assistant coach, 19 of 26 baseball players made the Dean's List, according to a Tech spokesman.

Yoshida said the athletic department's graduation rate is nearly 75 percent based upon the NCAA six-year cycle.

Men's volleyball coach Mike Wilton, men's basketball coach Riley Wallace and softball coach Bob Coolen are due to have their contracts renegotiated this month.

In line with Jones' contract, which was partially underwritten by business and booster contributions, Yoshida confirmed he is also seeking donations to help fund what is believed to be a $110,000-$120,000 annual base salary for Trapasso. The package will also include performance incentives, merchandise contracts and camps.