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Marshall approves new contract for national champion coach Chris Grassie

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Marshall University Board of Governors unanimously approved a new five-year contract for men’s soccer head coach Chris Grassie in an emergency meeting Friday afternoon.

Full terms could not be released until the official contract is signed by all parties but Grassie’s salary will bump up from approximately $122,000 annually to $375,750 annually.

Patrick Farrell

Marshall Board of Governors Chairman Patrick Farrrell congratulated Marshall President Jerome Gilbert and others for getting a deal done in a matter of days after the Herd won the national championship.

“These things are never easy but we got it to the finish line,” Farrell said.

Grassie tweeted before the meeting that he was happy with the deal. “I’m in!” Grassie wrote.

Grassie led the Thundering Herd to their first College Cup title with a 1-nil overtime win over Indiana Monday evening. Marshall entered the tournament unseeded but they defeated No. 1 Clemson, defending national champion Georgetown and power programs North Carolina and Indiana en route to the title.

Jerome Gilbert

Gilbert said Grassie signed the term sheet Thursday night while out of town on vacation.

“We were working on his vacation day to get him to agree to all of this–so we were able to manage all of this,” Gilbert said.

BOG member Bill Noe, who played a key role in the contract negotiations, said the deal puts Grassie in a good place when it comes to base salary.

“It puts him about the top five (nationally) for base salary. That doesn’t mean total compensation, but base salary, about the top five,” Noe said.

He added college soccer coaches in larger areas make more because of additional revenue opportunities.

“A lot of these other coaches that are in that salary range they live in places where they put on soccer camps, they get a bunch of guaranteed additives to their salary above and beyond what Coach Grassie would get that put their salaries well out of the range that we would be competitive with,” Noe said.

Noe said Grassie’s current contract was near the bottom of the list.

“He was at the lowest end–just about possible,” he said.

BOG members seemed confident they had done enough to keep Grassie.”He’s going to be happy as long as he wants to be here,” Noe said.

Bill Noe

BOG member Chris Miller added.

“He wants to stay here and build a program and that’s a good thing,” Miller said.

The BOG gave Gilbert the approval to finalize the term sheet and turn it into a contract. Gilbert also expressed confidence about keeping Grassie.

“We’ve got a great coach and we’re going to keep him for another five years for sure,” Gilbert said.

Grassie has posted a 45-24-10 record in four seasons leading the Herd.

MetroNews reporters Joe Brocato and Jeff Jenkins contributed to this story.

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