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Turgeon signed contract this month

Turgeon signed contract this month

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The contract of new Texas A&M men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon has been signed, sealed and delivered.

The eight-year, $9.6 million agreement was approved and signed by four parties - athletics director Bill Byrne, A&M interim president Eddie Davis, deputy general counsel Scott Kelly and Turgeon - on June 5.

Turgeon, who came from Wichita State, was hired April 10 to replace Billy Gillispie, who left April 6 after three years at A&M to take the head coaching job at Kentucky.

"I would guess seven weeks is moving pretty fast," Byrne said Wednesday. "They go through the personnel office on campus. They go out to central administration, the chancellor's office. It's reviewed by the legal people, and then it comes back and is signed by our financial people before it goes to the regents."

Gillispie's contract was renewed each year but not signed until sometime during the following season.

"It's not unusual at all," Byrne said of Gillispie's contract process taking longer than in Turgeon's case. He added that Gillispie never signed a contract in his two years as head coach at Texas-El Paso.

Turgeon's contract includes a buyout clause of $1 million if he terminates the contract before April 10, 2008. The buyout goes to $500,000 between year one and two and is $250,000 for the remainder of the contract.

There were no buyout clauses in Gillispie's contracts.

A&M football coach Dennis Franchione previously was the lone Aggie coach with a buyout clause in his contract.

"In the past, the philosophy has always been if someone doesn't want to be here we wish them well wherever they decide to go, but more and more as the size of the contracts grow, you are going to need some protection for yourself," Byrne said. "I think for the future, particularly in the major sports football and basketball, you are going to see more buyouts coming down."

A&M paid $200,000 to Wichita State for early termination of Turgeon's agreement with WSU.

Turgeon's contract at A&M includes benefits such as the use of a vehicle, a country club membership and tickets to games. They are standard on most major college contracts in football and basketball.

Turgeon also has incentives similar to other A&M head coaches. If the Aggies win a Big 12 Conference regular season or tournament title, Turgeon will earn a bonus of $41,667 - or 1/12 his annual salary. He also earns the same bonus for an NCAA Tournament appearance, a Sweet 16 appearance, reaching the Final Four and winning an NCAA championship.

Turgeon would also receive a bonus for the Aggies being selected to play in the NIT. If the Aggies reached the NIT semifinals, he would earn $15,000, and if A&M won the NIT, Turgeon would receive a $25,000 bonus.

"Incentives are the same throughout the department, approved by the regents - a month's salary, which is true across the board," Byrne said.

Turgeon, who played for the Kansas Jayhawks from 1984-87, coached at Wichita State for the past seven seasons, compiling a record of 128-89 and taking the Shockers to the Sweet 16 in 2006. He also coached at Jacksonville State for two years before moving to Wichita State. Turgeon's Jacksonville State teams went a combined 25-29.

Turgeon played in the Final Four for Kansas in 1986 and was an assistant under Larry Brown when the Jayhawks won the NCAA championship in 1988. He also was an assistant for Roy Williams when Kansas lost in the 1991 title game to Duke.

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