Bozeman Signs Five-year Deal

Talks Go Into Evening Before School's Deadline Is Met

Morgan State Men's Basketball

April 24, 2009|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,

Todd Bozeman, who delivered Morgan State's first NCAA Division I basketball tournament berth this season, met a Thursday deadline by signing a five-year contract to remain as Bears coach.

Attorneys for both sides negotiated most of the day into the early evening before Bozeman, 45, signed a deal that gives him the second-highest annual salary in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. His base salary is $182,000, ranking behind only Delaware State's Greg Jackson at $225,000 in the MEAC.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a college basketball coach," Bozeman said. "I welcome the opportunity to continue to coach my guys."

Dr. Earl S. Richardson, Morgan's president, issued a statement to The Baltimore Sun, saying: "We're pleased. We think we have a contract that works for the university and for Coach Bozeman."

Bozeman was hired in 2006, and his contract was to have expired Saturday. Bozeman elected to end negotiations with the school once the 2008-09 season started. But five weeks after the Bears ended a 23-12 campaign with a loss to Oklahoma in a first-round NCAA game, negotiations were still at a stalemate and Morgan gave Bozeman a deadline to sign.

Sources for both sides indicated the sticking point was the resources Morgan was putting into the academic support unit. Bozeman said he accepted the university's terms but would not discuss academic support.

"My academic coordinating staff works extremely hard," he said. "I'm just glad I'm coaching. I'm looking forward to next season."

Bozeman came to Morgan three years ago after serving an eight-year "show-cause" ban by the NCAA for paying a recruit at California. No other school had been willing to hire him.

But almost immediately, he turned the program around, bringing in local recruits and restoring the team's competitiveness.

The Bears went 13-18 in his first season but improved to 22-11 in 2007-08, winning the MEAC's regular-season title and gaining a berth in the National Invitation Tournament.

This season, Morgan won the regular-season and tournament titles in the MEAC, advancing to its first NCAA tournament since it joined Division I.

Bozeman was named the Mid-Major Coach of the Year this season.

Before Bozeman arrived, Morgan had had one winning season in 26 years.

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