Monday , Mar , 15 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Lappas restructures contract, will remain at UMass

Amherst, MA (Sports Network) – University of Massachusetts head coach Steve
Lappas has agreed in principle to restructure his contract and return to the
Minutemen basketball program next season. Director of Athletics John
McCutcheon made the announcement on Monday.

The new agreement maintains Lappas’ base pay at its current level, but
significantly changes the incentive portion of his contract, tying
supplemental compensation to ticket sales and team performance. The agreement,
which is for the 2004-05 season, allows for Lappas and the school to
renegotiate following the conclusion of next season. .

UMass just completed a disappointing 10-19 season. The Minutemen went only
4-12 in the Atlantic-10 Conference and were eliminated in the first round of
the conference tournament. The year before, UMass went only 11-18 overall and
6-10 in the A-10.

“A new coaching staff needs to be given adequate time to get the job done in
recognition of the state of the program they inherited,” said McCutcheon.
“While none of us, Steve included, are remotely content with the win/loss
record of the team to date, I do feel we have begun to show signs of
improvement for the future. This agreement allows that progress to continue
while minimizing the financial exposure to the University. We have also
established clear goals and expectations for evaluating the development of the

“As we begin to establish a stable environment within UMass Athletics that
focuses on productivity, efficiency and the student-athlete, I feel this is in
the University’s and the Department’s best interest.”

Lappas, who just completed his third season with the Minutemen, has a mark of
34-53 in Amherst overall, going 14-32 in the A-10. He has a career record of
264-225, with eight postseason appearances in 15 years at Manhattan, Villanova
and UMass.

“I’m pleased in the confidence that John McCutcheon and the university have
shown in the promise of the future of this program,” said Lappas. “I am
looking forward to continue working with the fine young talent we have in our
program. I’m excited about the prospects of our future. Our goals are to
return to the great tradition of winning we have at UMass.”