Now former Tribe head basketball Coach Tony Shaver is eligible for a hefty contract payout, his agent revealed Thursday.
How much? Try $1.7 million.
“We don’t know as of today what that total is going to be,” said Dennis Cordell, Shaver’s agent, adding William & Mary will continue to pay Shaver’s salary until he finds employment.
Director of Athletics Samantha Huge on Wednesday announced Shaver “will not be retained,” but she shied away from elaborating what that meant.
Cordell, however, said Shaver was fired.
Pete Clawson, spokesman for the athletics department, said Shaver was making approximately $260,000 per year, but Cordell said his client was making $320,000 per year and Shaver’s 10-year contract was set to expire June 20, 2024.
The original contract was set for five years with Shaver’s starting salary of $300,000 per year with a 4 percent increase, Cordell said. He said Shaver’s contract had automatic extensions every year with the expectation Shaver would lead the Tribe basketball team to above 500 every Colonial Athletic Association or CAA.
“This is fairly typical for coaches to be fired with time remaining on their contracts,” Cordell said. “It is not uncommon for new athletic directors to bring in new coaches.”
Huge again was unavailable to comment about Shaver’s firing. According to her office, Huge was on a trip with the women’s basketball team.
All inquiries about Shaver were referred to Clawson.
Clawson said the university will honor the terms of Shaver’s contract which ends in 2024 and he would not comment on the the number of applicants vying for the head coach’s position at this time.
Cordell said Shaver will continue to look for another coaching job.
“He was really excited to coach next year,” Cordell said. “It came as a real surprise to him.”
Shaver was head coach of the Tribe basketball team for 16 seasons and the college is currently conducting a nationwide search for Shaver’s replacement.
It is unclear why Shaver was fired and Clawson declined to comment, citing privacy laws.
Since she’s on a trip Thursday, the day following her “will not be retained” announcement, Huge did not make it clear whether there will be an “advisory group” formed to search for Shaver’s replacement, or whether the search will be transparent.
Huge’s prepared statement emailed to news outlets late Wednesday afternoon also didn’t offer any clarity to the decision.
The blanket statement, however, praised the former coach:
“We are forever grateful to Tony for his commitment and service over 16 years to William & Mary,” Huge said. “He is a teacher not just a coach and his impact on hundreds of young men will be felt by them for years to come. However, we have high expectations for our men’s basketball program, including participating in the NCAA Tournament, and we will not shy away from setting the bar high. Now is the time to begin a new chapter in William & Mary basketball. On behalf of Tribe Athletics, I want to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Tony and we wish him all the best.”
Shaver could not be reached for comment.