When T.J. Otzelberger left South Dakota State last week (March 27) to become the new men's basketball head coach at Nevada-Las Vegas some were surprised by Otzelberger's ultimate destination but not that he was leaving a mid-major program for a team in the big time Mountain West Conference.

Now that the actual numbers on Otzelberger's five-year contract with the Runnin' Rebels have been made public, we're reminded why it's nearly impossible for schools at SDSU's level to keep coaches when the big schools come calling.

The website Stadium, through a public records request, has confirmed that Oztelberger will start with a base salary of $350,000 for 2019-20 at UNLV. The same amount he was paid in Brookings last season.

But like the TV commercial says - wait, there's more!

Otzelberger will also be paid both media/public appearance and name/image/likeness fees that will add another $750,000 to his compensation next season. That number will jump to an additional $1.15 million by year five.

That means a total haul of $1.1 million in year one, topping out at $1.5 million for the 2023-24 season.

Oh, and there are several incentives built into the deal that could sweeten that pot considerably. Like $5,000 per year for the team meeting certain academic standards, $10,000 for winning conference coach of the year honors, $25,000 for the national coach of the year award.

Otzelberger would also get $25K for each regular season conference title and another $25K for winning the Mountain West Tournament.

At-large berths in the NCAA Tournament are worth another $25K. So is winning the NIT.

A trip to the NCAA Final Four comes with a $50,000 bonus.

Winning the NCAA Tournament means a $100,000 payday.

It just goes to show you don't have to be playing a slot machine in Vegas to hit the jackpot.


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