Brian Pensky's deal richer than Maryland, former coach's contract

Texas gave Kelly $40,000 more to leave UT

Tennessee soccer coach Brian Pensky netted a raise worth approximately $50,000 by leaving Maryland to become coach of the Lady Vols on Jan. 26.

Pensky, 43, signed a five-year contract worth a minimum $160,000 annually plus bonuses after politely declining UT's initial offer to become athletic director Dave Hart's first coaching hire.

Pensky's contract, obtained by the News Sentinel through an open records request, revealed it would have cost Tennessee even more money to strike a deal to keep former coach Angela Kelly before she signed a contract with Texas that proved too good to refuse on Dec. 17.

Kelly, 40, received an annual raise of about $40,000 for a compensation package of $185,000 to leave Tennessee in addition to having bonus clauses in her new contract that could be worth more than an additional $82,000.

Not that Hart signed off on Tennessee covering Pensky's $25,000 buyout at Maryland because he was looking for a bargain.

While Hart declined comment, Pensky's resume speaks for itself. Pensky went 67-52-20 (.554) at Maryland from 2005-11. In 2010 he was the Soccer America National Coach of the Year and Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year.

Pensky led Maryland to the NCAA tournament each of the past three seasons, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2009 and 2011. The Terrapins were also one of three teams to finish in the top 11 of the NSCAA coaches' poll the past three seasons.

Pensky's 2011-12 compensation package at Maryland was $112,840, according to the college, consisting of a base salary of $101,000 with a "personal services" clause for $11,000 and an annual $840 cell phone stipend.

Kelly led Tennessee to the NCAA tournament only once over the past three seasons, but as a Texas release pointed out, she essentially built the Lady Vols' program from the ground up.

Texas noted that, at Tennessee, Kelly "took the helm of a program that had never advanced to the NCAA tournament, had never won an SEC tournament match and had never collected any first-team All-SEC honors.''

Kelly's 12-year tenure at Tennessee included four SEC Eastern Division crowns, three straight SEC regular-season titles and four SEC tournament titles. She accumulated a 160-84-20 (.644) record over her 12 seasons, making nine NCAA tournaments and five Sweet 16 appearances.

Kelly was due to make $146,590 — including $10,000 in broadcast pay/shoe apparel pay — this upcoming season at Tennessee.

At Texas, Kelly's contract calls for her to make $155,000 in base salary plus an annual $30,000 "products" bonus — for shoes and apparel — beginning this season.

The Longhorns' cumulative bonus structure is also more attractive than Tennessee's.

Kelly's Texas contract — a 5 1/2-year deal that runs between Dec. 19, 2011 and Aug. 31, 2017 — includes several incentives which, if she were to meet all possible criteria, could add up to $82,000 plus a yet-to-be-determined summer camp payment.

The bonuses are:

Team APR achievement (between $5,000-$10,000 annually at Texas' discretion).

Team performance achievement (starting at $5,000 for making the NCAA tournament with bonuses increasing up to $25,000 for winning the national championship).

Individual achievement ($2,000 for Big 12 Coach of the Year, $5,000 for National Coach of the Year).

Pensky's salary calls for a one-time bump of $15,000 his first season with Tennessee, which the contract relates to "expenses and additional work incurred in connective with launching a soccer camp.''

Pensky, who will receive $150,000 annually in base pay and another $10,000 in apparel/media/retention fee, has the following incentives outlined along with the provision that he only gets paid the highest bonus he attains among them:

Team Academic bonus (per undisclosed "University Rules and Athletics policy").

Team performance achievement (between $6,000 for winning the SEC tournament or the SEC regular season or making the NCAA tournament, up to $24,000 for winning the national championship).

If Tennessee elects to fire Pensky without cause, it would owe him his base pay for the remaining term of his contract, to be paid in monthly installments over the remaining term of his contract.

If Pensky elects to leave the Lady Vols before his contract has expired, he would owe the school 33 percent of his annual base pay within 60 days of his departure.

Kelly did not have to pay Tennessee a buyout when she left for the Texas job, according to associate athletic director for communications, Jimmy Stanton.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee athletics. Follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 5

voloffaith writes:

Money...its a crime...money....Andy's barber friend Pink FLOYD.....soccer pay is respectable at both institutions of higher learning...

movol53 writes:

Seems Kelly has a better winning % in all areas. Why couldn't we just a few dollars more to keep Kelly? It's not like we were talking a quarter of million dollars more.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Go figure, another Tennessee coach that didn't have a buyout clause. In my opinion, Pensky is probably going to turn out better for Tennessee than they would have been in keeping Kelly around for the next few years. As Texas said Tennessee hadn't had any success in Womens Soccer before Kelly, but really the SEC only started playing Soccer in 1993 and only eight schools field teams. So nobody in the SEC really had any success in Soccer before 1993 as it's a fairly new sport. Kelly's teams were falling off as her final three years weren't as successful. Pensky will bring new life to a program that wasn't as successful as it once was under Kelly. The writing was on the wall. Pensky is a win for Tennessee.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

Go figure, another Tennessee coach that didn't have a buyout clause. In my opinion, Pensky is probably going to turn out better for Tennessee than they would have been in keeping Kelly around for the next few years. As Texas said Tennessee hadn't had any success in Womens Soccer before Kelly, but really the SEC only started playing Soccer in 1993 and only eight schools field teams. So nobody in the SEC really had any success in Soccer before 1993 as it's a fairly new sport. Kelly's teams were falling off as her final three years weren't as successful. Pensky will bring new life to a program that wasn't as successful as it once was under Kelly. The writing was on the wall. Pensky is a win for Tennessee.

Correction, all 12 SEC schools play Soccer now but only eight make the tourney. It's still a very young sport though in the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee's first team was in 1996.

BillVol writes:

Angie Kelly had done all she could do at UT. Plus, the top female soccer players tend to favor male coaches. That is a fact. (See Anson Dorrance.) Landing Pensky was perfect for us.

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