September 16, 2009 8:21:00 AM
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Greg Byrne understands the importance of recruiting for his head coaches.
That''s why the Mississippi State Athletic Director believes in keeping coaches'' financial contracts at four years.
Byrne has recommended that the contracts of basketball coach Rick Stansbury and baseball coach John Cohen be extended through June 30, 2013. The item on the College Board of Education''s agenda this week still has Stansbury''s contract through June 30, 2012, but Byrne expects it to be extended.
Even though the Bulldogs finished with their second-straight losing season in baseball (25-29), Byrne is confident in what Cohen is doing.
"We''re very pleased he''s here at Mississippi State as our baseball coach," Byrne said. "He is well on his way to bringing our baseball program back to where we expect it to be."
Cohen, who makes $225,000 annually, appreciates the faith Byrne and the MSU administration have placed in him.
He continues to be thankful to be a part of an athletic department committed to progress.
"To have big gains in life you have to make investments, and I appreciate the investment Mississippi State has made to me from the moment I got here," Cohen said. "This continues that and it''s very appreciative.
"You don''t get the opportunity to come back home and do what you''ve always dreamed of doing like I have. I don''t take that lightly."
Along with his proposed extension, Stansbury would get a raise from $225,000 to $235,000 annually. Stansbury makes $1.2 million annually, but most of that comes from private Bulldog Foundation. Byrne said there should be a change in the foundation pay, but wasn''t specific.
"We felt that was important to do to show that commitment to him and the men''s basketball program," Byrne said.
Stansbury, who is set to begin his 12th season, is the winningest coach in school history (231).