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Southeast Missouri State renews Tony Samuel's contract

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Southeast Missouri State head football coach Tony Samuel
(Fred Lynch)
Download a copy of Samuel's contract by clicking here

The Football Championship Subdivision national coach of the year will continue to call Cape Girardeau home.

Southeast Missouri State University announced a new five-year contract for Tony Samuel during a Tuesday morning news conference at the university's Statuary Hall.

In attendance were a number of Southeast administrators, coaches in other sports, boosters and Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger.

"This was very important. We want Tony, Tony wants to be here," Southeast director of athletics John Shafer said. "The university wants him, the community wants him and most importantly, the student athletes want him.

"We need continuity. We need somebody with dignity and character. ... We have that in Tony. We never thought about looking elsewhere."

Samuel's original five-year contract expired Monday. Although it was widely anticipated that he would sign a new deal, Southeast fans were a bit uneasy following the Redhawks' historic season and with national signing day set for today.

Don't count Samuel -- winner of the prestigious Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS national coach of the year -- among the concerned group.

"I didn't know it was that big a deal. We were out recruiting and trying to get that done," the 55-year-old Samuel said. "I really wasn't that concerned. I don't think our recruits were concerned. They knew the way we were working that we weren't going anywhere.

"I'm sure there will be some of them, when they get this news, will be a little more at ease."

Samuel will receive a base salary of $125,000 per year, after his original contract paid him $96,000 per year. The contract, dated Jan. 31, runs through March 31, 2016.

New to this contract, Samuel also receives 5 percent of the net revenue of all guarantee football games against FBS opponents. Net revenue equals the total gross game guarantee revenue less team travel expenses for guarantee games and less any game guarantees paid to another team.

Samuel will continue to receive an annuity and revenue resulting from camps and fundraising new to the contract is $10,000 per year for radio and television appearances. He also will continue to be eligible for various performance stipends related to individual and team goals, with some of those new and with many of the monetary figures increased.

"The guarantee games, we've had success and moving forward we have some games that are larger guarantees than we've had before. There's some play in there, additional revenue," Shafer said. "Then on the incentives, that's something that you never know when it's going to happen. It took 104 years to do what we did, but it's something that needed to be in there. There needed to be compensation for a job well done. That was a way for us to show that we were committed to football.

"Those, quite honestly, you look at those incentives as an athletic director and you say, 'Well if we reach those goals, we're going to have increased revenue.' They go hand in hand."

Southeast is coming off one of the top seasons in the program's 104-year history as the Redhawks captured the program's first playoff berth.

The Redhawks went 9-3 for the program's first winning season since 2002 and only the third since moving up to the FCS level in 1991.

Southeast won the program's first Ohio Valley Conference championship one year after a last-place OVC finish with a 2-9 record. Samuel was named OVC coach of the year in addition to earning the Eddie Robinson Award.

"The most important thing in all of this is still the players. They made us look good," said Samuel, who posted a 13-32 record in his first four years at Southeast before the breakout 2010 season.

Now the challenge for Samuel and his staff is to build a consistent winner, something no Southeast coach has been able to do on the FCS level.

"Last season is in the past. We have a lot of work to do," Samuel said. "We're not going to be sneaking up on anybody. People will give us their best shot from here on out."

The 2011 campaign will present an especially big challenge after the 2010 squad featured numerous key seniors.

Of Southeast's 10 all-OVC selections, seven were seniors. Of the Redhawks' four All-Americans, three were seniors.

That senior list is led by record-setting running back Henry Harris and four of the five linemen who spearheaded one of the nation's top rushing attacks.

But Samuel said he sees no reason why the Redhawks can't have consistent success. He said he called Southeast football a "sleeping giant" when he originally took the job and hasn't changed his opinion.

"We thought that's what this was," Samuel said. "This is still a sleeping giant."

Samuel said it takes a solid commitment from the university and the community for any program to reach its full potential.

He pointed to what has taken place in nearby Carbondale, Ill., with SIU's previously floundering program that transformed into a national power.

"When I first came here, I looked across the river, thought they did it right," Samuel said. "They've taken football to another level, where I think we can go with the right help."

Plans are in the works to replace the aging FieldTurf and the tiny, temporary scoreboard at Houck Stadium. Shafer said he and Samuel have discussed other potential facility upgrades, including to the Rosengarten Athletic Complex that houses coaches offices and the players' permanent lockers.

"We talked about facilities and we talked about the FieldTurf. ... We talked about we need to update the locker room at Rosengarten," Shafer said. "Just a lot of things that need to be done. They weren't something that were demands or anything. It was stuff that in our talks, this needs to be done. Just like last year getting the new uniforms. That needed to be done."

Shafer said nothing was put in writing.

"We just talked through them and agreed that they needed to be done," he said.

Without getting specific and without making public demands, Samuel said various program upgrades are needed to fully capitalize on the 2010 success.

"Where do we go from here? A lot of programs have had opportunities but have not been able to sustain," he said. "We're on the way, but we have an awful lot of work to do."



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Good for Coach!!!

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 11:42 AM

He deserved it!

-- Posted by golfhitter on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 11:49 AM

Yeah congrats coach...you should also teach business because you somehow sold yourself on ONE great season. Not denying a great season but can you keep that caliber and improve the next five years? I hope so.

-- Posted by curbside_prophet on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 11:51 AM

Any idea of what 5% of the net revenues of the guaranteed games is?

-- Posted by DonT15 on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 11:54 AM

Curbside, I hear ya! The guy was a loser @ New Mexico/got fired; took 5 years to win here...I dont think his phone was ringing off the wall and no offers were in the p.o. box; so, this was a move he and the administration had to make. Now, will the boosters and Brune go out and beg for the $ for new turf like last time?? I hope not--might not happen this time...we'll see what happens.

-- Posted by Bearcat66 on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 12:12 PM

Lets say Ball State pays us 100-thousand dollars to play them....he gets 5-thousand of that in his pocket!! Guaranteed games== money games.

-- Posted by RedShirt on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 12:21 PM

Redshirt---The way I read it is 5% of net meaning after all travel expenses...So if it costs 30,000 to travel he would get 3500.00---100,000 - 30,000=70,000 x .05 = 3500.00

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 12:26 PM

A loser at New Mexico? What do you constitute a loser to be? W vs. L? Well if you look at when he was there compared to when he wasn't...were they better or worse? Do you even know the landscape of College football? Just because you couldn't win at a bottom 1-aa team makes you a loser of a coach. What do you do in life? Let us know so we can determine what kind of person you are.

How do you know what kind of offers he received? I am sure he was contacted by many to be an assistant. Why would he want to go back and do that? Don't just spout off at the mouth because a good person has gotten what he deserved.


-- Posted by FBSEMOfan on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 12:26 PM

correct bullettman...thats what I meant to say (after expsenses)...but many FBS pay some of that too...it gives him an incentive to ink some BIG time FBS schools in the schedule...AKA he makes more money from doing that!! ;)

-- Posted by RedShirt on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 12:35 PM

Congrats Coach Samuel. You deserve it. Forget all the haters out there. And thanx for the great season. It was fun to watch as well as read.

-- Posted by mboydjr on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 12:46 PM

Unbelievable...they were ready to fire him a year ago and now he's a great coach??? 5 years. 1 winning season. That does not make you a winner.

Make the playoffs again over the next 2 years--then I will be a believer. Semo continues to be the bastion of mediocrity...

-- Posted by BigT on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 12:58 PM

BigT, you gotta show some stability in a college program. One strong season with him, now you've got to build on it. The recruits that have committed already look mighty impressive. I do think a 5 year extension is a bit much.

Either way, kudos to Coach Samuel! Now continue to make us proud!

-- Posted by Showstopper on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 1:20 PM

Im kinda indifferent on this topic...Ill says this...does this signing say all you have to do is win an OVC title once every five years and you get another five year deal? So Samuel can be here as long as he wants as long as he wins an OVC title once in his contract period?? Im not bashing the contract...just curious if thats the message from the SEMO Athletics Department...Other coaches should take this as the precedent set!!

-- Posted by RedShirt on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 1:22 PM

Good job Tony

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 1:24 PM

RedShirt, I doubt that would be the case. Now he'll be expected to produce more .500 seasons and more winning seasons. I don't think he'll get a pass with a 22-35 record or whatever..

But you have to give a coach time establish something. At a school that isn't a powerhouse (like a Texas, Florida, etc) a new coach isn't likely to come in and win every single year just like that.

He deserved this, the assistant coaches deserved this, and the players deserve this. They have earned it and hopefully they continue to build.

-- Posted by redhawkstudent on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 1:53 PM

Let me pose this scenario...What if samuel came in and won the OVC title his first year and then posted a 13-32 record his last four...would he have gotten the same treatment??

-- Posted by RedShirt on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 2:50 PM

RedShirt....your posts are right-on regarding this topic..you ask the right questions, but no one wants to listen....can also apply this reasoning to other coaches at SEMO

-- Posted by spur on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 3:02 PM

redshirt---I would imagine he wouldn't get an extension as that would show the program going in the wrong direction. Since he took over a program in shambles and 5 years later wins a title then that IS showing improvement so the extension is warranted. Your analogy seems to be apples and oranges

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 3:17 PM

I'm with bulletman. I think if he finishes this 5-year stint with a .385 winning percentage then he won't be back. If he finishes above .500 over the next 5 years then I would expect they would continue.

The culture is not here to demand him winning the conference every year to be retained. And that culture can't be built overnight. He went 9-3 this year and I would expect he would get some heat if they go back to 3-8 next year, etc.

Hopefully the program is provided with some updates so that we can hopefully build a competitive culture at SEMO.

-- Posted by redhawkstudent on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 3:31 PM

bulletman....redshirt's apples and oranges still make the best sense....

-- Posted by spur on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 3:31 PM

At the beginning of the football season if the team would have won 6 games everyone would have been happy. He would have gotten an extension for 2 to 3 years. Since he won the OVC and got SEMO into the playoffs for the first time ever this is what coach gets. I believe that what he has done with the program speaks for itself....no one has ever gotten the team this far ever. Great job and keep it up the pressure is on!!!

-- Posted by Cardsfan on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 3:36 PM

Congrats Coach Samuel. You deserve it. Forget all the haters out there. And thanx for the great season. It was fun to watch as well as read.

-- Posted by mboydjr on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 4:00 PM

Thanks for backing me spur....I owe you a cold one ;) Im not trying to stir the pot...just asking what warranted a 5-year deal and not 2 or 3 year extension...This is debatable since Samuel had one winning season in 5...and if he doesnt succeed the next two or three years...we would have to buy him out then...right???

-- Posted by RedShirt on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 4:04 PM

Wow, lots of strong opinions and some passion flying around on both sides of the issue. All things considered, I'm not ready to annoint him as an incredible coach either, but he has done what is expected, a strong season in his 5th season with HIS program for four years and HIS recruits instead of inheriting other coaches recruits and teaching a new system early in the contract.

So I am impressed with this season, but yes, he'll have an uphill battle keeping it going, and please don't come to expect every year to be like this one. That only happens for the BEST programs like App St., Youngstown, Montana, etc etc. Perhaps a three year deal might have been more appropriate, I don't know.

-- Posted by GreatFun on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 4:20 PM

SEMO is getting $315,000 to play Purdue next season. Assuming SEMO doesn't resort to hiring Hollywood style accountants(always get a cut of the gross not the net!) and reasonable travel expenses Samuels should still pocket an extra $10,000-$15,000 in exchange for letting his players get beat up by a Big Ten team.

-- Posted by Nil on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 4:26 PM

Bad move on SEMO's part.

-- Posted by sports101 on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 4:41 PM

redshirt and spur---We'll just agree to disagree. SEMO made the right move by rehiring him. We can debate if 5 years is too long but that wasn't in the original discussion. I'll join you for a cold one..Nothing personal..

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 5:02 PM

spur would only be happy when SEMO wins the National Championship in every single sport (including the ones we don't have!). He must not know much about OVC athletics or SEMO athletics.

You reward success and you allow a coach to establish himself. I wonder how often spur has been fired because he hasn't been the VERY BEST in his field..

-- Posted by redhawkstudent on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 5:04 PM

GreatFun - you kicked the ball thru the uprights! It definitely takes a few years to succeed with your recruits and your program. In Samuels' 1st and 2nd year, he was dealing with Sr's and Jr's from previous years and coaching programs. Once his recruits and his program rose to the top of their game, we have this past season as our just reward. Granted, we're losing key players, but they are being replaced with his recruits who have been brought up right. Now it's their turn to step up to the line and do the job they've been trained for and received scholarships for. The coach can only train and put in the best he has. If the best he has don't eat, breathe and live for football, then our season will only be as good as the team's best. Great job all around, I say. Looking forward to some eager and hungry players next season.

-- Posted by mc9 on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 6:43 PM

see, redhawkstudent, everybody had a civil discussion going, but here you go again making it personal...you need to lighten up...and have a cold one also, if you are of age.

-- Posted by spur on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 6:43 PM

As the price for tuition goes up, so does the salary for the football coach. I can't blame Samuel, but I don't know if I would sell the farm to keep him after one winning season. I can't believe the perks in his contract. I guess the admin wanted him real bad. I hope he does real well for the next 5 years and can boost his regular salary with the performance stipends so his salary can be competetive with the rest of us.

-- Posted by wolfwoman on Tue, Feb 1, 2011, at 7:02 PM

I think a lot of you are missing an even bigger picture...

I was at that press conference and frankly the only one to ask any questions of the newly-extended coach during the big session. The big picture is are we now going to siphon away some strong mid-level and/or top level area recruits away from schools like SIU, Murray State, Mizzou or Arkansas State as a result of this extension?

You have to be able to show stability in the program for top recruits regionally close to it to want to bite on it. Yes, winning is truly a part of the equation, but if that was the case, Missouri State should be snagging everyone from here on a yearly basis, not Mizzou.

-- Posted by vincebrown on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 1:48 AM

Coach, your thinking and discussions are on the right track. You are also correct saying "...we have an awful lot of work to do."

You do. You can. You will.

-- Posted by Hawker on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 9:32 AM

Sports. The crux of any education institution.

-- Posted by semotroll on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 9:59 AM

Vince...isnt it illegal to attend news conferences when you're not a member of a viable media?? The cops should have cuffed you I reckon ;)

-- Posted by RedShirt on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 10:01 AM

I think it's a shame that so many of you care so much about how much money a coach makes.

That is a very modest salary increase, the board did a good job at locking him down.

He handled last year great, coaches aren't one hit wonders like players can be.

This is a great signing, for shame on those that care so much about the amount another man makes.

-- Posted by J5six on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 1:26 PM

RedShirt and BearCat are NOT our Ambassadors.

OK Guys-

Since you (don't) know so much- Who was the last coach to win an OVC title here in Southeast Missouri?? Didnt we lose 6 close games in the 4th Qtr in 2009? Didn't we win close games in the 4th this year? Who would you have in Coach Samuels place? How do you measure success?? Coach Samuels gave the breath of life to a program that was not only Nationally insignificant but regionally as well. With Dr. Tom Ozbourne being an active mentor to Mr. Coach Samuels, we, The Real Supporters of Southeast Missouri University our proud to have him!

Congrats to Coach Samuels

Bring us a National Championship!

-- Posted by Big Bro on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 3:22 PM

I didnt say fire him...Im wondering why we caved-in for five more years for a coach who has one winning season...what is Tony Samuel's track record at SEMO? Great season coach...can he do it again next year? or should we be prudent business people and give him three more years to prove he's the best we can get? I don't hire people cause of their name....I hire based on merit....prove to me that Samuel's past warranted a five-year extension!!

PS--- Life is not about moral victories or winning or losing in the 4th quarter....it's about the bottom line...period!! :)

-- Posted by RedShirt on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 3:38 PM

RedShirt, do you have any better coaching suggestions (based on merit)?

Assuming Samuel made it clear that he would settle for nothing less than a five year contract, who would have been a better option that would have settled for a cheaper contract?

-- Posted by DonT15 on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 4:44 PM

its called a National Search Dont15....something SEMO is a pro at as of late ;)

-- Posted by RedShirt on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 4:45 PM

Why waste the money for a National Search when we have a candidate who is already in the midst of developing something and is somebody the administration wanted to keep? Even if it all falls apart, I'll bet the cost of buying him out of the contract would be equal to or less than conducting a national search AND trying to pay this new coach.

Do you think just any coach is going to come here for dirt cheap?

-- Posted by redhawkstudent on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 5:58 PM

Does anybody know what SIU is paying their coach? I bet its a lot more. Research will show that the money that coach signed for is at or near the bottom of most FCS teams. I know the former offensive coordinator White was making 65,000 here and went to New Mexico to be the runningbacks coach for 125,000. We all know Dobbins is cheap. Coach Samuel deserves more money probably but I don't think He's a man that is motivated by money. He's a good coach and a great man.

-- Posted by rashsjr on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 6:38 PM

Dale Lennon got 200,000 this year to lose to SEMO...BTW, SIU opens their season Sept. 3rd at SEMO!!!!

-- Posted by RedShirt on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 7:09 PM

@ rashsjr - Lennon also has two conference titles under his belt in his first two seasons. Plus, SIU has their national championship and is a perennial contender for the title.

We just got in the playoffs this year, but it has been a steady push.

BTW, for those of you who STILL think five years is too much, ask this question of yourself:

How bad do you want the top recruits in the region to come here?

-- Posted by vincebrown on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 11:26 AM

@vincebrown- Thats exactly my point. People are concerned about the salary for Coach Samuel but if you want a different coach it gonna cost you more money to attract a new coach. I am happy Coach Samuel is staying . He is recruiting the right type of players for the schemes that he's running. They might not be 9-3 next year but hopefully 6-5 is not out of reach.

-- Posted by rashsjr on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 6:46 PM

"Lennon got 200,000 this year to lose to SEMO"

How much of that do you think Yoko got? :-)

-- Posted by hoopsguru on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 8:55 PM

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Breakdown of Samuel's contract
Base salary: $125,000.04

Salary supplement: Annual supplement equal to 5 percent of the net revenue of all guarantee football games. Net revenue equals the total gross game guarantee revenue less team travel expenses for guarantee games and less any game guarantees paid to another team.

Annuity: $25,000 per year, paid on a monthly basis, to purchase an annuity or other retirement instrument (previous contract was $12,000 per year)

Automobile: Will be provided an automobile for official travel, including insurance, maintenance and business-related fuel expenses (same)

Radio/TV: $10,000 per year, paid on a monthly basis, for radio and television appearances (new)

Camps: Entitled to earn income generated from camps not to exceed $10,000 (same)

Booster supplement: Shall not exceed $10,000 a year and the money must be raised on an annual basis through the efforts of Samuel and the athletic director (same)

Performance stipend:

Individual goals

$3,000 if the team GPA at year's end is greater than 2.8 (previous contract was $2,500)

$5,000 if named OVC coach of the year (previous contract was $1,000)

$5,000 if named NCAA regional coach of the year (new)

$8,000 if named national coach of the year (new)

Team goals*

$2,500 if team has a final ranking in the top 25 (new)

$5,000 if team wins the OVC championship (previous contract was $2,500)

$3,500 if team advances to the FCS playoffs (previous contract was $2,500)

$10,000 if team advances to the FCS championship game (same)

$25,000 if team wins FCS championship (same)

*Team goals are not cumulative

Samuel's buyout: $40,000 per year for the remainder of the contract, prorated to the effective date of the resignation (previous contract was one half the remaining base salary due under the agreement)