By The Associated Press
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Larry Eustachy made it clear about his future at Colorado State — and about his determination to keep his troubles behind him.
“This is my last stop,” Eustachy said. “This is my final chapter in coaching.”
Colorado State introduced Eustachy as its basketball coach Thursday. Athletic director Jack Graham said the school and coach agreed to a five-year incentive-laced pact that begins with a $500,000 base and possibility of making as much as $1.1 million if he meets all the incentives.
“He can earn an additional $250,000 if he meets the graduation rate and we have no major NCAA violations,” Graham said. “If he meets them, he’s eligible to earn up to $350,000 based upon winning. If we win 20 or more basketball games, he can earn an additional $100,00 and, if we win the conference championship or we go to the NCAA tournament, he can win an additional $250,000.”
And there are incentives to keep Eustacy.
“I’d have to give 3 1/2 pints of blood,” Eustachy said if there were thoughts of leaving. “I like it here, like being in the mountains. So, this is my last stop.”
Graham gave newly hired football coach Jim McElwain a five-year, $1.35 million a year contract.
It’s been a long road for Eustachy, who rebuilt and restored his career at Southern Miss. He resigned at Iowa State in 2003 shortly after photos of him partying with students surfaced.
He went through rehabilitation to treat alcoholism and is determined to keep his life and character clean.
“It will be nine years since I had my last drink,” Eustachy said. “When I’m done coaching I want to establish a foundation and a sobriety living home for people after their rehab.”
“He took on that disease with the same passion and intensity as he coaches players on the court,” Graham said. “I have an incredible amount of respect for this man and am absolutely convinced that he will represent our university in the best kind of character.”
“I am absolutely convinced that he can deliver results and that we are going to win when we play basketball under him,” Graham said.
The 56-year-old Eustachy comes to the Rams from Southern Mississippi, where directed the Golden Eagles to a 25-9 record — 11-5 in Conference USA — and the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991.
Southern Mississippi was 142-113 in eight seasons under Eustachy. During 19 seasons, he is 402-258 at Idaho, Utah State, Iowa State and Southern Mississippi.
Eustachy, the 19th coach at Colorado State, replaces Tim Miles, who left the Rams on March 24 to take the job at Nebraska. Miles led the Rams this season to the NCAA Tournament.
The Rams were 14-1 at home, the only loss coming to Eustachy’s Golden Eagles. The new coach will have nearly the whole team back intact.
“I’ve always said that you never see the jockey carrying the horse across the finish,” Eustachy said. “You have to have horses to be successful. I love the team coming back. They like me right now, but they may not like me tomorrow when begin workouts.”