Photo Courtesy of Mason Athletics

A comparison between the contracts of Mason men’s and women’s basketball’s head coaches


On Tuesday, April 13, Fourth Estate obtained head coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis’ contract through a Freedom of Information Act Request. The details of Blair-Lewis’ contract were unknown until they were published today. 

According to a terms sheet, Blair-Lewis was hired for five years, effective April 7, 2021, through March 31, 2026. Recently hired men’s basketball head coach Kim English was awarded the same number of years for his contract. 

Blair-Lewis’ contract is broken down into two main categories, instead of English’s three. These two categories include annual compensation (base salary) and bonuses — with supplemental compensation for sponsorships and miscellaneous things being absent. 

English’s base salary came in at $450,000, while Blair-Lewis’ base salary checks in at $300,000. With supplemental compensation, Blair-Lewis’ annual compensation stays at the base salary. English, however, was awarded $475,000 in supplemental compensation according to his terms sheet and Fourth Estate’s previous contract article

The bonuses, also known as annual incentives, are part of both Blair-Lewis’ and English’s contracts. English’s bonuses total to a maximum of $425,000, while Blair-Lewis’ bonuses add up to $232,500. 

Blair-Lewis’ bonuses are structured exactly the same as English’s. There are three main categories — retention and both academic and competitive performance. 

Retention bonuses for Blair-Lewis total to a sum of $25,000 if she is still actively employed as the head coach on April 1 of each season, starting April 1, 2022. 

Academic bonuses total a possible $30,000 for Blair-Lewis. She can earn $15,000 for a team GPA of 3.0 or greater, $10,000 if the team’s Academic Performance Rating is higher than 950 for multiple years and $5,000 for an APR of 985 in a single year.

Here is the breakdown of Blair-Lewis’ competitive performance bonuses:

Competitive Performance: Amount:
Top 100 Final NET Ranking $5,000
Regular Season A-10 Champions $10,000
A-10 Tournament Championship $10,000
NCAA Tournament Round of 64 $10,000
NCAA Tournament Second Round $10,000
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 $10,000
NCAA Tournament Elite 8 $10,000
NCAA Tournament Final Four $20,000
NCAA Championship Appearance $25,000
NCAA Championship $25,000
WNIT Tournament Appearance $2,500
WNIT Tournament Championship Winner $20,000
A-10 Coach of the Year $5,000
National Coach of the Year $15,000

There are some bonuses from Blair-Lewis’ contract that are missing in English’s contract. 

For instance, Blair-Lewis received alternative-postseason bonuses, while English did not. These bonuses included $2,500 for a WNIT appearance and $20,000 for a WNIT championship. English, on the contrary, did not receive any bonuses in relation to the NIT. 

The buyout from the university is the last major aspect of the contract. If the university wishes to buy out Blair-Lewis in her first or second year, it would have to pay 100 percent of the base salary ($300,000). If it decides to buy her out before the end of her third year, it would pay 75 percent of the base salary and supplemental compensation ($225,000). Finally, if the university decides to buy out in the final two years, it would have to pay 50 percent ($150,000). 

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story. There will be an updated article if more information is released regarding Vanessa Blair-Lewis’ contract if it is made available to Fourth Estate.