Tamas, assistants in line for raise

Tamas, assistants in line for raise

Illini coaches are set to get raises or contract extensions at Friday's special meeting of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in Chicago. Besides LOVIE SMITH's two-year contract extension, announced last month, here are a few highlights:

— Volleyball coach CHRIS TAMAS is slated for a salary bump and a two-year contract extension after taking his team to the Final Four — and perhaps beyond. Tamas earned $310,000 this year, plus an $8,000 car allowance. Under the new five-year agreement, he'll be paid $340,000 next year and $10,000 more each succeeding year, topping out at $380,000 in 2023, according to athletic spokesman KENT BROWN.

— His two assistants will also get one-year contract extensions, with ALFRED REFT earning $95,200 next year and RASHINDA REED making about $92,300.

ROD SMITH will get a whopping $200,000 raise after his first year as football's offensive coordinator, earning $700,000 next year and $750,000 in 2020 under his proposed contract extension. Smith now earns $500,000. His new salary puts him "just inside the top half of the Big Ten," according to Brown.

— All seven full-time assistants, plus head strength coach JOE BOESE, will get one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2021, to keep them on two-year contracts, Brown said. A few salaries were adjusted to retain coaches who had been offered other jobs, he said. The football staff still has two vacancies, including a defensive coordinator to replace HARDY NICKERSON, who resigned midseason.

— Mum's still the word on the details of Smith's contract extension. He is in Year 3 of his original six-year contract, and athletic director JOSH WHITMAN announced in November that two years would be added, taking Smith through Jan. 31, 2024. Brown said his salary will remain at $4 million, but other details of the extension — including whether his buyout provisions would change — won't be released until the board votes, he said. If Illinois had fired Smith this year, it would have cost the school $12 million; the buyout drops to $4 million at the end of the 2019 season and $2 million the following year.

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