The University of Wisconsin has extended head swimming & diving coach Yuri Suguiyama‘s three-year agreement through June 14, 2024. Suguiyama was one of 6 Wisconsin head coaches to receive a contract extension this week after a meeting of the UW Athletic Board.
Wisconsin uses a unique method of contract renewal for its head coaches. Each season, the athletics department makes a recommendation to the board on whether to renew a coach’s contract (which keeps it at the same length – in Suguiyama’s case 3 years) or to maintain it (without adding the extra year).
An extension of the contract is a positive sign from the administration, whereas “maintaining” a contract is a sign of future trouble – Whitney Hite’s contract, for example, was maintained before the 2015-2016 season, and a few years later he was removed from that position.
The vote of confidence for Suguiyama comes after a year where the men’s team finished 5th out of 10 at the Big Ten Championships and the women finished 5th out of 13 teams at the Big Ten Championships.
For the Wisconsin women, that held the same position that they’ve placed at each of the prior 3 Big Ten Championship meets, in spite of graduating one of the most valuable college swimmers in the country, Beata Nelson, prior to the season.
2021 freshman Phoebe Bacon helped cover for that loss, placing 4th in the 200 IM, 3rd in the 100 backstroke, and winning the 200 backstroke at the NCAA Championships.
As a team, the Wisconsin women placed 19th at NCAAs, while the men finished 28th.
The 2020-2021 season was Suguiyama’s third as the head coach at Wisconsin. Prior to that, he served as the men’s associate head coach at Cal for 6 seasons, including when they won an NCAA title in 2014.
According the La Crosse Tribune, Suguiyama’s total salary, benefits, and bonuses for the 2018-2019 season (the most recent available data) was $228,088. That ranked him as the 11th-highest paid coach in the athletics department.
Full list of Wisconsin contract extensions:
- Football coach Paul Chryst’s five-year agreement was extended through January 31, 2026
- Women’s hockey coach Mark Johnson’s five-year agreement was extended through June 30, 2026
- Men’s basketball coach Greg Gard’s five-year agreement was extended through May 31, 2026
- Men’s hockey coach Tony Granato’s five-year agreement was extended through June 30, 2026
- Swimming and diving coach Yuri Suguiyama‘s three-year agreement was extended through June 14, 2024
- Wrestling coach Chris Bono’s three-year agreement was extended through May 31, 2024