LSU board approves Caldwell’s contract

The LSU Board of Supervisors quickly and unanimously approved the $700,000 annual salary and contract for new women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell.

The LSU Board also signed off on the pay for co-swimming and diving coaches Doug Shaffer and David Geyer jumping from $70,000 to $80,000.

The co-coaches also are slated for additional $4,000 raises each of the next two years.

As for Caldwell, her five-year, 28-page contract is broken down into a $350,000 in base pay and $350,000 in supplemental pay for radio, TV and Internet appearances.

Caldwell also will receive up to $12,000 in annual vehicle allowances.

LSU’s private, nonprofit Tiger Athletic Foundation will pay the $170,000 buyout for her UCLA contract. She left UCLA to replace Van Chancellor, whose pay had increased to $710,000.

Caldwell could receive up to $500,000 in postseason bonuses, which would include such bonuses as $100,000 for winning the national championship and $100,000 for being named the national coach of the year.

Just making the NCAA Tournament is a $50,000 bonus.

Caldwell also is eligible for $50,000 in annual team academic bonuses.

If Caldwell is fired without cause, she would be owed $1 million in her first year and, on a sliding scale, $250,000 by the fifth year.

A former star player at the University of Tennessee, Caldwell went 72-26 at UCLA in three seasons and led the Bruins to a pair of NCAA tournament berths.

LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said Caldwell is already proving to be a great LSU representative and student-athlete mentor.

“Nikki is everywhere in the public eye these days,” Martin said.

Laura Leach, the chairwoman of the LSU Board’s athletics committee, said Caldwell’s recruiting prowess is already showing.

“We’re thrilled to death,” Leach said.