AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn basketball coach Sonny Smith reportedly is close to accepting the head coaching job at Virginia Commonwealth University with a multiyear contract worth about $300,000 per year.
Smith, 52, who has been Auburn's coach for 11 years, said he will visit the VCU campus in Richmond today but denied a report that he already had agreed in principle to accept the job.
The Birmingham News reported today that VCU officials and community leaders have put together a financial package worth more than $300,000 a year for five or six years. The package includes a $90,000 base salary, a radio and television contract worth $100,000 and more than $120,000 in other benefits including a home allowance, clothing allowance, two cars, stock options and a country club membership, the newspaper said.
The VCU coaching job opened with the resignation of Mike Pollio at the close of the season. The VCU Rams were 66-58 during Pollio's four years, including 14-16 this season.
Smith's record at Auburn is 173-154, including one Southeastern Conference tournament championship and five straight appearances in the NCAA tournament, a period in which the Tigers' record was 101-58.