Consistency, it has been said, breeds success, which in turn brings fan support and subsequent financial support. With those things in mind CSU awarded men’s basketball head coach Dale Layer with a new contract.
Following a season in which he led the Rams to an unprecedented Mountain West Conference tournament championship and subsequent berth to the NCAA tournament – the program’s first in 12 years – Layer signed a five-year deal, effective immediately, with the university that pays him $185,000 base salary through the 2008 season plus another $40,000 guaranteed for media and public relations.
“I’m grateful to have a job, number one,” said the four-year coach who has led the Rams to a 46-45 record since being hired April 11, 2000. “Number two, I’m grateful to be employed by CSU and build a program here by tracking quality student athletes.”
Interim Director of Athletics Christine Susemihl made the announcement July 14 saying the contract was a reflection of the success the program has had at a national level.
Though Susemihl announced the deal, Gary Ozzello, the media relations director at CSU said it was already in place.
“Jeff Hathaway, (former) President (Al) Yates and coach Layer had agreed in terms to the contract after the season ended,” Ozzello said. “Christine finalized that agreement.”
With the new contract signed, Layer said he is anxious to use the length of the deal to build a consistent winner.
“I want to try to keep adding to (the program),” he said. “To get a deeper, more talented roster year in and year out is the name of the game.”
With the surprising success of last season’s team, Layer acknowledged that a similar run will not be as easy in the coming 2003-2004 season, now that the rest of the conference will not take the Rams lightly.
“Each year is different,” he said. “You have to build on last year, look back and capitalize on the upcoming season.”
Layer should have a strong team coming back next season, though he will have to find a way to replace the scoring and leadership of departed seniors Brian Greene (currently playing on the Denver Nuggets summer team) and Andy Birley.
“Those are two guys with over 1,000 career points at CSU,” he said. “It’s tough to replace guys who are capable of scoring and who can do it under pressure.”
Layer should have some help from his returning players and a freshman recruiting class that ranks as high as 30th in the nation.
Furthermore, Layer added that he is not one to let success go to his head and become one of many mid-major coaches who often find themselves leaving the program that brought them success for another, more lucrative offer from a major university.
“I’m just glad to have a job, that other stuff is not a concern,” he said. “Our goal is to continue to build the program and to keep making steps in that direction. That is the only focus now.”