SIU coach contracts broken down part I


By Sports Staff, Daily Egyptian

Editor’s note: There is more to an NCAA coaching job than wins and losses. A coach is responsible for practices, promoting welfare of student athletes, communicating with the athletic director, dealing with the media, recruiting, etc. This is a breakdown of half of the SIU coaches’ contracts. For the second half, please see tomorrow’s Daily Egyptian.  

Dale Lennon

Dale Lennon became Saluki football’s 20th coach on Dec. 27, 2007, and is now in the top-five all-time in wins, winning percentage and games coached at SIU. 


Lennon’s current contract, in effect from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2016, has a base salary of $220,788 a year. This equates to $18,399 a month and $36,798 for each of the team’s six wins last season.

While Lennon’s contract allows him to earn performance-based bonuses, the team’s 6-6 record last season was not enough to earn any.

Lennon’s contract has a stipulation that rewards him with an additional compensation of $4,000 a year because his son Cody Lennon attends and is enrolled full-time at SIU.

In his first two seasons as head coach, SIU finished 20-5 overall and 15-1 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

He earned $224,788 last season. 

Justin Ingram

Volleyball coach Justin Ingram has made the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in his first three seasons, becoming the first volleyball coach in SIU history to lead the team to three straight tournaments. 


Ingram makes $85,000 a year — $2,741.94 per match or $5,312.50 per win based on last season’s record.

He earned $500 in bonuses last season by qualifying for the MVC Tournament. Ingram could make an additional $500 if the team has a combined GPA of 3.4 between the fall and spring semesters. It had a 3.488 GPA in the fall. 

He earned $85,500 last season.  

Connie Price-Smith

With arguably the most successful program at SIU — track and field — Connie Price-Smith makes the sixth most of any coach at the university. Her contract, which was signed on Nov. 18, 2013, is combined for coaching both the cross-country and track and field teams.

Price-Smith’s contract, which runs from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2016, has a base salary of $72,660 a year. This equates to $6,055 a month or about $3,300 per indoor and outdoor event this season.

The Salukis have won four of the seven events in which team scores were given. This equates to $18,165 per competition win this season for Price-Smith.

On July 1, she was given a bonus of $5,000 payable in equal monthly installments. The same will happen July 1 of this year.

In her contract, Price-Smith is given bonuses for various athlete achievements. Since the beginning of the current contract she has earned more than $20,000 in bonuses.

In the previous indoor season she earned $6,500 in bonuses.

  • $1,000 – Freshman Raven Saunders won NCAA Championship for shot put
  • $2,000 – Women’s team finished ninth at NCAA Championship
  • $2,500 – $500 for each of the five Indoor Track and Field All-Americans
  • $1,000 – Men’s team finishes with a GPA above 3.0

Price-Smith and the Salukis have three events remaining this season and potentially the USA Track & Field Junior and Senior Nationals in Eugene, Ore., beginning June 25, if athletes qualify.

Price-Smith has made $84,160 so far this season.

Rick Walker 

Men’s and women’s swimming coach Rick Walker is the longest tenured head coach at SIU at 28 years. He now earns $78,468 a year. 

He coached in 11 competitions this season, plus the opening practice meet for Saluki fan appreciation, the NCAA Zone Diving and the NCAA Women’s Championships, which diver Sherry Zhang competed in. 

Walker has won eight conference titles in his time at SIU. 

Justin Fetcho 

Men’s golf coach Justin Fetcho served his first season at SIU this year. His salary is $40,000.08.

The team did not win any of the 12 tournaments this season, but did finish second twice, including the MVC Championship. It was tied for the highest finish in Saluki history. 

Alexis Mihelich

Women’s golf coach Alexis Mihelich is on a term contract at a yearly salary of $38,136.

Mihelich completed her fourth season coaching at SIU this year. Under Mihelich, the Salukis have earned 12 team tournament titles and nine individual victories.