Steve Hawkins Awarded New Six-Year Deal
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced today it has reached an agreement in principle with head men's basketball coach Steve Hawkins on a new six-year contract. Hawkins ranks among the winningest coaches in Western Michigan and Mid-American Conference history, and most recently led the Broncos to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
"The Western Michigan men's basketball program has enjoyed consistent success under Coach Hawkins, and we are proud and excited to announce he will represent our University into the future," said WMU Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard. "His direction has helped develop numerous young men into champions on the court and performers in the classroom, and I am extremely pleased that he will be a Bronco for years to come."
The guaranteed annual compensation in the deal includes a base salary of $225,000 plus $160,000 for public, radio, and television appearances. As part of this new contract, additional money has also been allotted towards the men's basketball assistant coaches' pool.
"I would first like to thank Kathy Beauregard and Dr. John Dunn for the opportunity to remain at Western Michigan and to continue our work here," said Hawkins. "I consider it an honor and a privilege to be the basketball coach here."
"I am proud of the things we have accomplished here at the University, but there is still work to do as we build for the future," said Hawkins. "This new contract will allow me and the rest of my staff to continue to diligently work for the future of the program both on the court and in the community during an important time."
The reigning MAC Coach of the Year and the longest-tenured head coach in the MAC, Hawkins recently led the Broncos to one of the best seasons in program history. WMU saw its way into the postseason for the fifth time under Hawkins in 2013-14, winning the program's first MAC Tournament title since the 2004 season to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second time under Hawkins. That run capped a 23-10 regular season that saw the Broncos go 14-4 in MAC play for just the sixth regular season championship in team history.
Hawkins has put together a body of work that rivals any in the history of both Western Michigan and the MAC, compiling wins at a rate seldom seen in the conference. Hawkins is 113-70 in conference games for a .617 winning percentage, the ninth-best mark in MAC history, and his 204-155 overall record gives him a .570 winning percentage that is eighth all-time among MAC coaches; he is one of only eight coaches in MAC history to break the overall 200-win barrier, and no other coach in WMU history has ever won 100 MAC games. WMU has won seven of the program's eight MAC West titles with Hawkins at the helm, more than any other team in the West division. The Broncos have played in all four postseason tournaments in the 11 seasons under Hawkins, including NCAA Tournament bids in 2003-04 and 2013-14, an NIT appearance in 2004-05, a CollegeInsider.com Tournament bid at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, and a trip to the College Basketball Invitational in 2012-13. The Broncos advanced to the semifinals of the 2013 CBI, winning games against North Dakota State and Wyoming en route to becoming one of the final four teams in the tournament.
The Broncos’ success on the court has been matched by their success off the court, as well. The MAC names just five players Academic All-MAC at the conclusion of each season, and a Bronco has been among those players in each and every year under Hawkins, a boast no other school in the conference can claim. Furthermore, WMU can lay claim to having 15 of the 46 players named to the team since the 2005-06 season, a ratio unmatched by any other MAC program. In addition, the Broncos have been honored as being in the top-10 percent of Division I men’s basketball programs by the NCAA in Academic Progress Rate (APR) in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014. Most recently, the Broncos were recognized as one of just seven teams in the 2014 NCAA Tournament field to boast a perfect Graduation Success Rate.