State’s highest-paid employee survived 2 bad reviews
School learns lesson, pays new UMass coach one-third of Kellogg’s salary
THE STATE’S HIGHEST PAID EMPLOYEE the past four years managed to hang onto his million-dollar-a-year job even after receiving back-to-back unsatisfactory performance reviews.
Derek Kellogg, the former UMass men’s basketball coach, received unsatisfactory performance reviews after the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. Yet he managed to hang on to his job through the 2016-2017 season before being fired in March. UMass made the NCAA tournament in just one of Kellogg’s nine seasons as coach and his record in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 was a combined 31-33. He was fired after a 15-18 record this past season.
UMass officials declined to say why they retained Kellogg.
Kellogg’s replacement is Matt McCall, a University of Tennessee-Chattanooga coach who is being brought in at a significantly lower salary. According to a memorandum of understanding, McCall’s compensation will be about a third of the annual $1.1 million in salary and bonuses earned by Kellogg, which means the new head coach will no longer rank among the 10 highest-paid state employees.
CommonWealth learned of Kellogg’s unsatisfactory reviews by reviewing the language of his contract and comparing it with his termination payout. The contract, which ran through April 2019, called for him to receive half of his remaining salary and compensation if he was terminated early. But the contract also included a clause extending its length by a year if he received a satisfactory performance review at the end of the 2014-15 season and another year if he got a similar review after the 2015-16 season.
After Kellogg was fired, school officials said he would receive half the $2.2 million he was owed through the 2019 season, which included more than $485,000 in base salary and $1.7 million in additional compensation for television and radio appearances and speaker fees. The payout indicated Kellogg, who has since been hired as coach of Long Island University, did not receive the extensions, which would have been automatic with a satisfactory performance review. A school spokesman declined to provide the review or reveal if Kellogg received a negative evaluation.
“Employees’ performance evaluations are protected from disclosure by [state law] both as parts of his personnel record and as information the release of which would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” UMass Amherst assistant athletic director Kevin Wissmann wrote in response to a public records request. Wissmann would only say that Kellogg’s contract ran through 2019.
In hiring McCall, who made the NCAA tournament in his first season at Tennessee-Chattanooga and had a 48-18 record in his two seasons there, UMass officials pared back many of the perks granted to Kellogg in addition to paying the new coach significantly less.
McCall will be paid $450,000 in the first year escalating to $850,000 by the last year of the five-year contract.
Kellogg, a point guard on the highly successfully teams from 1991-1995 under then-coach John Calipari, earned $1.1 million a year with a similar base salary as McCall’s plus more than $800,000 a year in additional compensation for media appearances and speaker fees. That additional compensation increased 2 percent a year. By contrast, McCall – who was hired after the school’s first choice, Pat Kelsey, decided to stay at Winthrop University – will receive $200,000 in additional compensation this year, increasing by $100,000 each year through 2022 for a total package of $3.25 million if he serves out the full contract.
In fact, McCall’s additional compensation is $300,000 less than what was offered Kelsey. McCall will, however, receive $175,000 as a retention bonus each year in 2019 through 2021 if he remains coach. In the last payment, McCall will receive an additional $25,000 for each NCAA tournament appearance during the first four years of the contract.McCall will receive between $10,000 to $15,000 for his players’ academic performance if they meet certain benchmarks. By contrast, Kellogg was slated to receive $20,000 to $40,000 with lower benchmarks. In addition, Kellogg would receive bonuses for graduation rates, which does not appear in McCall’s memorandum of understanding.
McCall has similar bonus structures for wins, tournament appearances, league championships, and attendance as Kellogg had. But McCall will not get the freedom that Kellogg did to make side deals with apparel manufacturers. Also, McCall’s contract makes no mention of use of facilities for a basketball camp like Kellogg had. Kellogg’s camp, for kids 4 to 18, cost between $125 to $250 per child and he paid the school 3 percent of the revenues for “indirect costs.”
UMass also agreed to pay McCall’s $360,000 buyout to Tennessee-Chattanooga. McCall’s contract would require him to pay the school $1 million if he leaves for another basketball of television job before the 2019 season is over, lesser amounts for each year after that.UMass will recover some money, though. Kellogg’s contract had offset language should he get another job in basketball. Because Long Island University is a private institution, Kellogg’s salary is unknown. But whatever he makes will be subtracted from what he is owed.