Former UB men’s basketball head coach Jim Whitesell will receive a $500,000 contract buyout after being fired by the university, according to a copy of his contract obtained by The Spectrum through a Freedom of Information Law request.
UB would have paid $400,000 if the school fired Whitesell between April 6, 2023, and April 5, 2024, according to a contract extension. The university elected to pay the extra $100,000 by firing Whitesell right after the season, which allows UB to conduct interviews and hire a new head coach as soon as possible.
Whitesell was hired as UB’s head coach in April 2019 and agreed to the terms of his five-year contract in December of that year. In July 2021, UB signed Whitesell to a one-year extension that would keep him under contract through 2025.
The extension stated that UB could terminate Whitesell’s contract at any time, but would be required to pay him between $300,000 and $600,000 to do it, depending on when his contract was terminated.
Here are the amounts UB was contractually obligated to pay out to Whitesell if he were to be fired, according to his 2021 contract extension:
- $600,000 if fired between April 6, 2021 through April 5, 2022
- $500,000 if fired between April 6, 2022 through April 5, 2023
- $400,000 if fired between April 6, 2023 through April 5, 2024
- $300,000 if fired between April 6, 2024 through April 5, 2025
Whitesell received an annual salary of $300,000 at UB, with an additional annual compensation of $100,000 (for availability to participate in media, marketing, fundraising and other services).
Whitesell went 70-49 with a 45-27 conference record in four seasons as UB’s head coach. The Bulls were 15-17 and 9-9 in the Mid-American Conference last season, earning a No. 6 seed in the MAC Tournament. Whitesell was fired following a 101-77 loss to Akron in the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals. This year marked the first time UB finished under .500 since the 2012-13 season.
The Bulls never won the Mid-American Conference or made the NCAA Tournament during Whitesell’s tenure.
UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt confirmed that a national search began immediately following Whitesell’s departure on Saturday.
Anthony DeCicco is the Editor-in-Chief and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony DeCicco is the Editor-in-Chief of The Spectrum. His words have appeared in outlets such as SLAM Magazine. In 2020, he was awarded First Prize for Sports Column Writing at the Society of Professional Journalists' Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards. In his free time, he can be found watching ‘90s Knicks games and reading NFL Mock Drafts at 3 a.m.