UPDATE: UNCW signs new coach, refuses to release contract detail - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UPDATE: UNCW signs new coach, refuses to release contract details

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Louisville Associate Head Basketball Coach Kevin Keatts has agreed to a coaching deal with UNCW. (Source: Raycom News Network) Louisville Associate Head Basketball Coach Kevin Keatts has agreed to a coaching deal with UNCW. (Source: Raycom News Network)
The UNCW Board of Trustees executive committee held an emergency meeting to approve Coach Keatts' contract Thursday. (Source: Bailey Hicks) The UNCW Board of Trustees executive committee held an emergency meeting to approve Coach Keatts' contract Thursday. (Source: Bailey Hicks)
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The UNC Wilmington Board of Trustees committed to spending what is presumed to be hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new men's head basketball coach Thursday, but the public will have to wait before finding out the exact commitment from the publicly-funded university.

The process to officially sign Keatts on as head coach required several signatures; Kevin Keatts, university officials, and the Board of Trustees. Once all required personnel signed the document, the contract becomes official and a public record. On Monday all required signatures were gathered and the contract was "fully executed" according to UNCW spokesperson Joe Browning.

However, despite repeated requests, the newly approved contract and public record, will not released until sometime before noon tomorrow, according to officials. We were first told the document would be released Monday once all signatures were gathered. Monday, WECT requested a copy of the public document, but we were told we had to wait for a press conference to see how much Keatts will be paid and for how long.

"We just release the contracts when we have the formal press conference," said UNCW Chancellor Gary Miller at a press conference last week announcing the hire.

It was revealed last week that UNCW is on the hook for nearly a million dollars to pay out the remainder of the contract of former coach Buzz Peterson, who was fired at the end of the Seahawks season earlier this month. Peterson will receive payments totaling $965,529.67 over the next couple years, in accordance with his contract. The former coach was the highest paid employee on the UNCW campus.

Bass said they feel the money spent on this hire was economically feasible for the university.

"We've gone over that with a fine tooth comb and we've worked with the financial folks here on campus and we are very, very comfortable with where we're going," Bass said. Chancellor Gary Miller said those details would be released at an unscheduled future news conference to introduce Keatts to the Wilmington community.

A press conference announcing Keatts' official hiring is scheduled for April 1 inside Trask Coliseum at 3 p.m. The public is invited to meet Keatts and his family. Keatts' earned $280,000 for his role as Associate Head Coach at the University of Louisville.

The UNCW athletic department ended the last fiscal year with a $400,000 deficit.

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