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ABOR approves contract extensions for Ray Anderson, 2 ASU coaches

Ray Anderson was approved for a five-year contract extension, and Tracy Smith and Charli Turner Thorne were approved for two-year contract extensions


Athletic Director Ray Anderson announces the University's addition of women's lacrosse on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, at the Dutson Theater in the Carson Student-Athlete Center on the Tempe campus.

The Arizona Board of Regents approved multi-year contract extensions for Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson, baseball head coach Tracy Smith and women's basketball head coach Charli Turner Thorne Thursday.

The board approved the terms of each individual's extensions, but they are not finalized until each individual signs their respective contracts.

Anderson would receive an extension of five years, which would expire on Feb. 11, 2026, and raise his annual salary from $800,000 to $950,000. He would also receive a $500,000 bonus upon the execution of the extension.

During ABOR's Finance, Captial and Resources Committee meeting on Jan. 28, ASU President Michael Crow praised Anderson's work of "modernizing (and) enhancing the quality of all aspects of ASU athletics."

In the Jan. 28 meeting, Crow jokingly said Anderson's extension was a "renewal until death," adding the statement represented the University's "level of commitment to him and his level of commitment to us."

"Ray's success at ASU, not only in the area of athletics but the academic performance and successes that we have seen under his leadership, is commendable," ABOR Finance, Capital and Resources Committee chair Karrin Taylor Robson said on Jan. 28. "To be able to keep him, I think, is a top priority for us."

Smith would receive a two-year extension, which would begin on June 30, 2021, and it would amend monetary bonuses contingent on his team's success. Smith would receive a $40,000 bonus if ASU baseball appears in the College World Series and $50,000 if the team wins the series. 

READ MORE: 2020 ASU salary database update. What are your questions?

"We are looking to capitalize on substantial recruitment activity that Coach Smith has been able to put on the table," Crow said in ABOR's board meeting Thursday. 

Smith, who assumed the head coaching role in 2014, has coached over 25 MLB Draft selections at ASU, including 2020 MLB Draft No. 1 overall selection Spencer Torkelson and 2019 MLB Draft No. 10 overall selection Hunter Bishop.

Turner Thorne would receive a two-year extension, which would begin on June 30, 2022. 

"Charli Turner Thorne, as already been stated, is one of the most successful coaches in the United States," Crow said Thursday. "She graduates all of our athletes. She is a stellar example of what we want our coaches to be in every possible way."

Turner Thorne is the winningest coach in the history of the ASU women's basketball program and has won the second-most games in Pac-12 women's basketball history. She has led ASU to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including six consecutive appearances from 2014-19. She is currently coaching her 24th season at ASU.

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