St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports SLU in talks with Schertz about open Billikens job

Mar. 18—The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and ESPN are reporting that Saint Louis University has discussed its open men's basketball coaching position with Indiana State coach Josh Schertz.

The reports said talks had occurred, but the extent of those discussions wasn't clear.

The Tribune-Star requested comment from ISU on Monday morning. Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Public Relations Seth Montgomery said there was "no comment at this time."

Saint Louis parted ways last week with former Billikens coach Travis Ford after eight seasons, the Post-Dispatch reported. The newspaper said Ford was the highest-paid employee at SLU, a private Jesuit research institution, since at least the 2017-18 academic year, according to SLU tax forms. Ford earned $2.45 million for the 2021-22 season, the most recent year available.

The Post-Dispatch said it is unknown how many years remained on Ford's contract, but it is believed that multiple years remained.

Under Ford, SLU posted records of 13-20 overall and 5-13 in the Atlantic 10 Conference this season, and a cumulative eight-season record of 146-109 with one NCAA Tournament appearance.

Schertz, in his third season at ISU, has his 2023-24 Sycamores in the NIT field as a No. 1 seed, facing a first-round game against Southern Methodist at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Hulman Center. ISU carries a 28-6 record and a No. 28 NCAA NET national ranking, but was bypassed by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee for inclusion in the 68-team "Big Dance."

The team's record and regular-season finish marked another step up during Schertz's short tenure. ISU won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship with a 17-3 record, the program's first Valley title since 2000 and just the third ever. Schertz's teams finished 23-13 and 13-7 last season, and 11-20 and 4-14 in his first season in Terre Haute.

Schertz came to ISU from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, where his Railsplitters compiled a 337-69 record in his 13 seasons there. Prior to that first head coaching job, Schertz served as a college assistant at Lynn, Queens and High Point.

ISU extended and enhanced Schertz's contract last October, and it runs through March 31, 2028, as a result.

Under that extended deal, Schertz is contracted to receive — including media payments and retention compensation — a total of $365,000 per year, up from the previous $300,000 per year. His five-year deal was extended by two years through 2028.

The buyout clause, if Schertz were to leave before the contract expires, works as follows: Before the end of June 2024, $250,000 would have to be paid back. Before 2025, it's $200,000, then $150,000 a year later and then $100,000 at the end of June 2027.

Schertz has incentives built in that remained the same. That includes $15,000 for each NCAA tournament win, winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament or an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Schertz will get $10,000 for winning the MVC regular-season title outright or a national Coach of the Year award.

Compensation is $7,500 for a NIT appearance and/or a season with a winning percentage of .820 or better. Schertz earns $5,000 for a MVC Coach of the Year honor and/or a co-conference championship and a winning percentage of .780-.819. A winning percentage of .750-.779 will fetch Schertz $4,500 and .710-749 is good for $3,500.

Schertz earns $2,500 with a winning percentage between .680 and .709 and if ISU has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better.