Five head coaches, AD Sterk to take voluntary pay cuts

Eliah Drinkwitz and Cuonzo Martin are among the coaches taking voluntary salary reductions to help MU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five Missouri head coaches and Director of Athletics Jim Sterk have taken voluntary pay cuts that will last from May 1 to July 31, the university announced Thursday night.

First-year football coach Eliah Drinkwitz, men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton, wrestling coach Brian Smith and baseball coach Steve Bieser will all have their salaries reduced.

As one of MU’s highest-ranking officials, Sterk will also participate.

“In the wake of the unprecedented challenges the University of Missouri, our state and nation are facing, we believe it was important to step forward and support (UM System President and MU) Chancellor (Mun) Choi and other university leaders at this time,” Sterk said in a release. “As leaders, I believe it is important that we lead by example, especially in times of crisis.”

Sterk was among the university leaders expected to take a 10% reduction in pay. He earns $700,000 annually.

The exact amount of the coaches’ reductions is not clear, though Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 20 athletics department staff members were asked to take 10% cuts.

Drinkwitz’ annual salary is $4 million. According to reporting from the Kansas City Business Journal, which cited 2018 payroll data, Martin made $2.88 million, Pingeton earned about $887,000, and Smith made about $379,000 that year. Bieser is set to earn $400,000 a year after a contract extension in January.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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