When the University of Houston System Board of Regents approved Chet S. Gladchuk as the new UH athletics director Thursday, they also approved a salary for him that is $51,000 higher than that of former AD Bill Carr.
The agreement signed in 1993 between UH and Carr, who resigned effective March 31, entitled the former AD to a $122,000 base salary.
In his first year, Gladchuk will earn $173,000.
Smith said he directly handled Gladchuk's contract, which was completed within a few days.
"He's a good negotiator," said Smith. "I wouldn't want an athletics director that wasn't."
The negotiating was successful for Gladchuk, who received benefits Carr did not.
It includes a mutual savings account, a $15,000 annual housing allowance and $25,000 bonuses if he increases athletes' graduation rates, decreases deficits and fulfills gender equity goals among sports.
Gladchuk served seven years as AD for the Boston College Golden Eagles and proved successful in improving the athletic program of the school.
The 1994 deficit of $2 million at Boston College disappeared during Gladchuk's tenure. In the following three years, the school's athletics program achieved a $1.5 million surplus.
Gladchuk is attempting to perform similar feats in Houston, where the athletics deficit approaches $6 million.
Smith said UH's deficit is not unusual for Division 1-A schools.
"It is very rare to have a Division 1-A athletic program that shows profit," he said.
Smith admits the deficit should be brought down, and said Gladchuk is capable of doing so.
"He's a builder who likes taking new challenges," Smith said. "If he can't do it, no one can."
Smith believes Gladchuk's extra incentives are well deserved.
"He has a proven track record at Boston College," he said. "He has provided the leadership it takes."
This record includes increasing the Golden Eagles' football ticket sales to 40,000 in 1996 from 12,000 in 1991.
Gladchuk also helped Boston College win the Academic Achievement Award for highest graduation rates among Division 1-A schools in three of five years.
Gladchuk said he can perform similar feats for UH. "There is a tremendous foundation here." he said. "We have a dynamic president committed to winning, a fantastic tradition and an athletic director who couldn't be more enthusiastic about being here.
"I feel like there really is no need to rebuild the program, it really just needs refurbishing," Gladchuk said. "This can be a program that is a presence, bringing pride to the UH community.
"I've seen it happen before; there is a definite formula involved," Gladchuk continued, referring to his Boston College success. "This athletic program can succeed on a national level."
Staff Writer Troy Clarke
contributed to this story.