Interim Director of Athletics John Morris announced Monday that head volleyball coach Tom Hilbert was signed to a new contract that will keep the veteran coach in Fort Collins through at least the 2018 season, and makes Hilbert one of the highest paid coaches in the sport's history.
Aug. 11, 2014
Hilbert by the Numbers
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The winningest coach in Colorado State history will remain with the Rams for at least another five seasons.
Interim Director of Athletics John Morris announced Monday that head volleyball coach Tom Hilbert was signed to a new contract that will keep the veteran coach in Fort Collins through at least the 2018 season, and makes Hilbert one of the highest-paid coaches in the sport’s history.
“Tom Hilbert and the women’s volleyball program have set the standard for Colorado State athletics, Morris said. “Tom has shown a commitment to this university, and we want to reward him for the sustained excellence he has fostered on the court, in the classroom, and in the community, and help him take the program to the next level.”
Hilbert will earn a base salary of $200,000 annually – up from $154,000 in 2013. With the raise, he remains the highest-paid coach in the Mountain West by a substantial margin, and his base salary is well within the top 10 in the nation.
“We have an administration that is serious about taking Colorado State to the next level, and people who believe that volleyball is a major part of what we’re doing here within athletics,” said Hilbert, who has been the head coach of the women’s volleyball program since 1997. “President Tony Frank and the senior administration are committed to the sport of volleyball and our entire athletics program, and that’s a great environment to work in.”
Hilbert’s previous contract was signed in 2000, and had a three-year rollover clause, which would automatically extend upon approval after each season. The new contract has a series of one-year extensions which automatically trigger after the second year.
“Our department is making a statement about how important volleyball is at Colorado State,” Hilbert said. “We’re doing exciting things right now. We are a state land-grant school, and we are as good as any land-grant school in the country. There’s an athletic component to it, but academically, as well. You don’t make those major changes without someone investing and taking risks, and that’s what our leadership is doing.”
While Hilbert will receive a raise, the contract also adds a buyout clause of $1 million – something that wasn’t in his previous deal.
“I want to continue coaching here as long as they’ll have me,” Hilbert said. “This really means that Colorado State is my final resting place.”
Additional bonuses can be earned for success on the court.
Hilbert will earn one-12th of his base salary for either winning the Mountain West regular-season or tournament championship or competing in the NCAA tournament. An additional $15,000 can be earned for advancing to the Sweet 16 and Final Four, respectively, and $25,000 for winning a national championship.
All bonuses are contingent on the Rams volleyball program meeting NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) requirements and having no major violations of NCAA rules.
Hilbert was hired on May 23, 1997 by former athletics director Tom Jurich. In 17 seasons with Colorado State, he has led the Rams to 17 appearances in the NCAA tournament, including 13 first-round victories and five Sweet 16 appearances. The Rams have won 13 regular-season conference titles under Hilbert.
He has amassed 431 victories while at CSU, more than any coach in any sport in CSU athletics history. In 25 seasons as a head coach, Hilbert is 605-178. When he earned his 600th career victory this past fall, he became just the 10th coach in Division I women’s volleyball history to record 600 career wins with at least a .770 winning percentage.
At CSU, he has coached nine AVCA All-Americans, has earned 40 wins over top-25 programs, has been ranked 248 total weeks including as high as No. 3 and holds a .892 winning percentage at Moby Arena.
In 2013, Hilbert led the Rams to a program-record .933 winning percentage, winning their first 27 matches to the season. CSU set a program record averaging 3,283 fans per match – a figure which ranked No. 7 nationally – and Hilbert was named the AVCA Pacific North Region Coach of the Year, his fifth regional honor.
“Colorado State has always answered the bell, and I really appreciate that,” Hilbert said. “In the big picture, it isn’t that expensive to keep a volleyball coach, but I commend CSU for doing what it has done over the years to make me feel valued and want to raise a family here.
“As a result, this is a great program. Kids come here and they look around and they go, ‘Wow, volleyball matters at this school. Colorado State is someplace special.’ That is what you want to be able to sell. If you’re at Colorado State, that’s how you’re going to beat a bigger school on a recruit. We can show them that it’s better here from a support standpoint, because it is.”
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