Sunday, September 25, 2022

Kansas State Wildcats announce contract extension for baseball coach Pete Hughes

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K-State baseball coach Pete Hughes has a chat with sophomore Terrence Spurlin (Courtesy Photo from K-State athletics)

K-State baseball coach Pete Hughes has a chat with sophomore Terrence Spurlin (Courtesy Photo from K-State athletics)

Kansas State has given its baseball coach a big sign of support.

Pete Hughes agreed to a contract extension with the Wildcats on Thursday that will increase his annual salary and put him on track to continue leading the K-State baseball team until the end of the 2026-27 season.

The new deal will increase Hughes’ salary to $535,000, and that number will increase by $25,000 annually until he is earning $635,000 in the final year of his contract.

“Coach Hughes is a proven leader of men who has established a great culture inside our baseball program,” K-State athletic director Gene Taylor said in a statement. “We continue to make progress under his leadership, not only at recruiting and developing baseball players, but also great students and community leaders.”

Hughes has failed to lead the K-State baseball team to the NCAA Tournament since he was hired four seasons ago. The Wildcats have also failed to finish better than seventh in the Big 12 standings under his watch. But they were thought to be a bubble team in 2020 before their season was cut short because of COVID-19 and they won 34 games in 2021.

K-State athletic leaders think an overall record of 98-92 that has featured three straight seasons at .500 or better was worth rewarding.

“What an honor it is to have the support and confidence of President (Richard) Linton and Gene Taylor,” Hughes said in a statement. “I am fortunate to have a program comprised of talented, motivated and loyal staff and players. These are the people responsible for this opportunity – the opportunity to continue to grow K-State baseball to the highest level.”

Performance-based bonuses will also allow Hughes to earn up to an additional 32% of his salary each season with rewards ranging from 4% for a top six finish in the Big 12 to 32% for a national championship.

His contract also features a pair of retention bonuses. He will collect $250,000 if he remains employed at K-State on June 14, 2023. He will be eligible for another $250,000 bonus if he is still coaching for the Wildcats on June 14, 2027.

If K-State decides to terminate his contract early without cause, it will owe Hughes 70% of his remaining contract value before July 14, 2024, 60% the following year and $635,000 at any point after July 15, 2025.

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Kellis Robinett covers Kansas State athletics for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. A winner of more than a dozen national writing awards, he lives in Manhattan with his wife and four children.



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