Hartford - UConn athletic director Warde Manuel sat at the podium Saturday at the XL Center during what he called "a great day in our history," noting that the 18th men's basketball coach in UConn history just turned 40.
And it is Kevin Ollie's intention to be here well north of his relative youth, in his words, "to recruit for a lifetime."
Ollie, who had coached the Huskies on in interim basis this season, received the 5-year deal Saturday. Manuel said Ollie's 5-year contract was solidified Saturday morning and signed in the afternoon.
"We're going to do things well and we're going to do things right," Ollie said. "The five-year contract is what it says on paper. But we're recruiting for a lifetime."
Ollie's deal runs through April 15, 2018. He will receive a base salary of $400,000 per year for 2013 he will receive $800,000 for institutional speaking engagements and media related appearances, totaling $1,200,000. His compensation will reach its maximum in 2017 at $1,340,000.
"The one thing nobody knew about Kevin is how he would be as the head coach," Manuel said. "What I saw in practice, before games and how he made adjustments at halftime, is that Kevin can coach.
"Then I saw how he led them off the court," Manuel said. "How he led them as young men, as students and how he encouraged them and talked to them about the impact of academics."
Ollie signed the deal with the following stipulation about the Academic Progress Rate, the NCAA's primary yardstick for measuring classroom achievement:
"In the event that the UConn men's basketball APR score is below the 930 standard for an academic year, there will be no postseason payments and a financial sanction could be imposed in the form of withholding payment of the equivalent amount of two weeks compensation of base salary.
"Two consecutive years of an annual APR score of below 930 could result in a suspension without pay or termination of employment with just cause. Once the four-year APR score for the men's basketball team reaches 930, the APR language in the contract will revert to the standard APR language in all UConn head coaches' contract."
Ollie said he agreed to the clause because "I have a belief in our system and our student-athletes. They are students first, We're going to get it done. We're going to get the right kids in here. I believe in the support staff we have."
Ollie will receive a payment of $10,000 for an annual NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 930 or above in a single year. A four-year APR score of 930 or above will result in a one-time payment of $50,000.
UConn president Susan Herbst said, "The first time I met Kevin, I could tell that he was a special person, with proper perspective on life and on basketball. He will win and he will represent us well, everywhere he goes."