SIU triples men's basketball coach salary
By: Arnold Wyrick
By: Arnold Wyrick
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Just three years into his head-coaching job at his alma-mater, and Chris Lowery is getting the respect, and paycheck of one of the top coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference.
"We knew it was going to take some extra ordinary offerings to keep Chris here, particularly when Kansas, the third ranked team in the nation only beat us by three points," says Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard.
And the university did make Coach Lowery an offer he couldn't refuse. Seven years, at $750,000 a year.
"Market determines everything. And market certainly determined this coaches salary. He deserves it. He knows how to coach, he was a great player himself. And he plays our style of ball blue-collar, hard-nosed defense and that's what wins games," Poshard said.
And it also wins the support of the alumni, who are picking up part of Coach Lowery's new contract.
Students on campus think Lowery is worth every penny.
"I think it's well deserved. He took them to the 'Sweet Sixteen.' And they've been producing every since he became the coach," says Tiphany Lenoir of Carbondale.
"Basketball is such a big thing here on campus. We can't retain players like the NBA does. So obviously we're going to have to retain coaches," says Ian Jachimowicz of Carbondale.
SIU's president also points out that Lowery's coaching abilities affects his players on and off the court.
"Out of our five starters we had one Academic All-American, another with a 4-point average, and two players with a 3 point 7 average. So the academic average of that team was truly representative of being 'scholar-athletes'. That's all attributed to Coach Lowery," Poshard said.