Husker basketball notes: Fred Hoiberg’s assistants will have a combined salary of $1 million, second highest in Big Ten

Husker basketball notes: Fred Hoiberg’s assistants will have a combined salary of $1 million, second highest in Big Ten
Fred Hoiberg will make $2.5 million his first year as the Huskers' basketball coach. His assistants' salaries will combine for an addition $1 million. RYAN SODERLIN/THE WORLD-HERALD

LINCOLN — Nebraska will pay its basketball assistants a total of $1 million for the 2019-20 season, the second-most of any school in the Big Ten.

The school announced on Monday that it would pay former NU head coach and Fred Hoiberg assistant Doc Sadler $320,000 a year. Armon Gates, originally hired by Tim Miles but retained by Hoiberg, will make $300,000. That’s a raise from his previous salary of $256,000. Assistant Matt Abdelmassih will make the most with $380,000. He’ll be the second-highest-paid assistant in the Big Ten, trailing only Ryan Pedon at Ohio State, who makes $395,000 a year.

According to published salaries of 11 Big Ten schools, Sadler will rank fifth in the conference in pay and Gates will be tied for seventh. Last year, Nebraska’s assistants ranked 15th, 16th and 17th in assistant salary. Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State keep coaching salaries private.

The $1 million salary pool for the three NU assistants ranks second only to Ohio State, which pays its three assistants a total of $1,020,000. Indiana ranks third with a pool of $890,000.

Bobby Lutz, a special assistant to Hoiberg, will make $150,000.

Nebraska will pay coaches a total of $3.5 million for the 2019-20 season, which ranks sixth in the conference. That will go up over the next three years, though, because of Hoiberg’s contract. Hoiberg will make $2.5 million for his first season. That increases to $3 million in his second year, and $3.57 million in his third.

The increase in pay is a dramatic shift for Nebraska, which for years has been among the least-funded teams in the Big Ten.

Nebraska’s yearly spending on basketball in 2018 — about $7.9 million — ranked 11th out of 14 Big Ten schools, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics.

Financial records provided by the athletic department earlier this spring showed that as the department continued to increase its total spending year over year, the percentage of that new revenue going toward basketball got lower each season.

Financial records show that the athletic department spent $44 million more in 2018 than it did five years ago, in 2014. About a 49% increase in total expenses reported.

The men’s basketball program spent about $1.6 million more in 2018 than in 2014, with a slight increase in spending each year. In total, Miles’ program recorded a 25% increase in spending over five years. Which appears significant.

But it wasn’t. The five-year percent change in spending ranked 14th-highest out of Nebraska’s 19 sports.

Football increased spending from 2014 to 2018 by 100.7%. Rifle by 62.4%. Volleyball by 40.3%. Baseball by 35.6%. Wrestling, swimming, men’s track, bowling and women’s tennis all increased their expenses by 29% or more.

With Bill Moos’ hiring of Hoiberg, the priorities have clearly changed.

Team Assistants  Coach  Total
Ohio State $1,020,000 $3,013,750 $4,033,750
Nebraska $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $3,500,000
Indiana $890,000 $3,250,000 $4,140,000
Illinois $850,000 $2,850,000 $3,700,000
Maryland $825,000 $2,847,232 $3,672,232
Michigan State $822,000 $3,732,562 $4,554,562
Rutgers $800,000 $1,600,000 $2,400,000
Iowa $701,738 $2,300,000 $3,001,738
Michigan $675,000 $3,800,000 $4,475,000
Wisconsin $660,000 $2,350,000 $3,010,000
 Purdue $630,167 $2,825,000 $3,455,167
Coach Salary
Ryan Pedon, Ohio State $395,000
Matt Abdlemassih, Nebraska $380,000
Orlando Antigua, Illinois $350,000
Kevin Broadus, Maryland $327,000
Mike Schrage, Ohio State $325,000
Doc Sadler, Nebraska $320,000
Tom Ostrom, Indiana $315,000
Armon Gates, Nebraska $300,000 
Terry Johnson, Ohio State $300,000
Bruiser Flint, Indiana $300,000
Karl Hobbs, Rutgers $300,000
Brandin Knight, Rutgers $300,000
Dwayne Stephens, Michigan State $287,000
Ed Schilling, Indiana $275,000
Jamall Walker, Illinois $275,000
Dane Fife, Michigan State $267,500
Mike Garland, Michigan State $267,500
Dustin Clark, Maryland $251,000
Steve Lutz, Purdue $250,000
Saddi Washington, Michigan $250,000
Howard Moore, Wisconsin $250,000
Bino Ranson, Maryland $247,000
Kirk Speraw, Iowa $240,287
Sherman Dillard, Iowa $230,776
Andrew Francis, Iowa $230,675
Ron Coleman, Illinois $225,000
Luke Yaklich, Michigan $225,000
Dean Oliver, Wisconsin $210,000
DeAndre Haynes, Michigan $200,000
Greg Gary, Purdue $200,000
Joe Krabbenhoft, Wisconsin $200,000
Jay Young, Rutgers $200,000
Brandon Brantley, Purdue $180,167​

Armon Gates says players are adjusting well to more intense workouts

LINCOLN — The media was able to meet with Fred Hoiberg’s entire coaching staff for the first time on Monday afternoon.

We’ll have stories on Doc Sadler, Armon Gates, Matt Abdelmassih and Bobby Lutz in the coming days. But first, some quick notes from conversations with the coaches.

» Junior guard Nana Akenten is still with the team, despite being suspended indefinitely at the end of last season. Gates said Akenten is still part of the program but dealing with some academic issues.

Healthy scholarship players for NU right now include junior transfer Dachon Burke, junior Thorir Thorbjarnarson and sophomore Brady Heiman. Sophomore Amir Harris and redshirt freshman Karrington Davis are both hurt.

Walk-on sophomore Justin Costello is still with the program, too. Isaiah Roby is preparing for the NBA combine next month.

Nebraska plans to add Akol Arop and Jervay Green this summer, along with some transfers. There are four open scholarship spots.

» While the coaches have been flying all over the country recruiting, players have been going through individual workouts. And it’s been an adjustment, Gates said. Hoiberg’s offensive scheme has a much higher tempo, so this summer will consist of days with both conditioning and shooting. It used to be one or the other, Gates said.

Guys have been a little more tired after workouts in recent days, Gates said, but most are adjusting to the new setup well.

» Lutz has been knee deep in film since being hired. His role as special assistant to the head coach will entail a litany of jobs, but maybe the most important will be helping put in place Hoiberg’s offensive system. Lutz coached at NAIA school Pfeiffer from 1986 to 1995. It was difficult recruiting big men there, he said, so he always had a stretch-4. That’s where he and Hoiberg bond, and why they share so many basketball philosophies. Lutz has been watching a lot of the NBA playoffs and taking notes on things he and Hoiberg want to use.

During the Final Four, Hoiberg did the same thing for Texas Tech, Virginia, Michigan State and Auburn.

Lutz said the beauty of basketball is the variety of ways you can win. But he thinks Hoiberg’s system will fit well in the Big Ten, since Nebraska will be one of the only teams to really run and gun.

» One of Lutz’s duties is to put together the schedule. He said he’s already scheduled eight games for next season, with just one remaining nonconference spot.

» Matt Abdelmassih said the recruiting world hasn’t changed much since the recent scandals involving both Adidas and Nike. But, he admitted, he doesn’t recruit a lot of high school players. The benefit of recruiting transfers, he said, is the interactions with potential players are only about a week or two, so there’s not enough time for any outside involvement. He doesn’t, however, love recruiting graduate transfers. They can be a cancer to a locker room, and often they aren’t there for great reasons, he said.

Nebraska basketball announces new Pinnacle Bank Arena court design

Husker fans have spoken.

Nebraska announced its new basketball court design after a vote let fans decide.

A proposal with the “Huskers” script logo placed over an outline of the state at center court won with 42% of the vote. In second with 29% of the vote was the “Iron N” logo inside the outline of the state.

About 40,000 votes were counted between Twitter and Facebook.

You can see the winning design below, and you can check out the options that didn’t make the cut here.