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USF athletic director Mark Harlan gets three-year extension on contract, small pay raise

USF athletic director Mark Harlan signed a three-year contract extension Tuesday through the 2020-21 school year.

In signing the extension, Harlan’s pay will increase from $500,000 annually to $525,000. He could potentially receive an extra $150,000 annually if he reaches certain performance goals, which include improving fundraising and attendance at USF athletics’ home games.

Both Harlan’s annual salary and incentive pay come directly from USF athletics’ revenue, his contract states.

"Mark has done a terrific job of implementing a strategic vision for USF Athletics and cultivating a top-level environment in which our student-athletes are thriving and achieving great success in the classroom and in competition," USF System President Judy Genshaft said. "I look forward to continued excellence in USF Athletics under Mark's leadership."

If Harlan were to resign from USF before July 1, 2020, he would owe the university $262,500.

"It is an honor to lead USF Athletics and to work alongside our tremendous student athletes, coaches and staff in pursuing excellence here every day," Harlan said. "I am thankful for and humbled by the support of President Genshaft and the Board of Trustees."

Since Harlan’s arrival in 2014, not including regular-season titles, USF has won 12 conference championships — eight of which were in men’s golf and tennis. The other four were women’s soccer (2017), women’s tennis (2014, 2017) and women’s sailing (2014).

Women’s basketball has made the NCAA Tournament the past four seasons under Harlan, finishing in second behind UConn in the AAC every season. As a result of coach Jose Fernandez’s performance, Harlan worked to re-up his contract twice — keeping him in Tampa through 2023.

In baseball, Harlan hired Mark Kingston in 2014. He then led USF to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in three years. After Kingston left to coach South Carolina in 2017, Harlan promoted pitching coach Billy Mohl to take over the program. Under Mohl, USF entered the top-25 in three polls Monday and is one game behind Houston for first place in the AAC with nine conference games remaining.

In football, Harlan stuck with former coach Willie Taggart following a 6-14 start to his tenure at USF. Taggart went on to win 17 of his last 21 games before leaving USF for Oregon. Charlie Strong, whom Harlan hired to replace Taggart, led USF to a 10-2 season, including a Birmingham Bowl victory over Texas Tech in 2017.

In the classroom, USF student-athletes have maintained a cumulative grade point average above 3.0 for six straight years and have posted a Graduation Success Rate above 80 percent for four straight years, including a program record 86 percent in 2016.

USF fundraising reached an all-time high under Harlan in 2016-17, according to a release.

“(I) look forward to continuing to work with campus colleagues, community partners and our great Bulls supporters as, together, we elevate USF Athletics to new heights,” Harlan said. “I am committed to working hard with the finest staff, coaches and student-athletes in the country as we work to ensure that every student-athlete has a world-class experience at USF."