Jim Schlossnagle has signed a multi-year contract extension that significantly raises his salary from a $375,000 base to well over the million dollar mark going forward. Rumored to be valued at or around $1.4 million per year for six years, a staggering figure that would effectively make him the highest paid college baseball coach in the country, the new deal all but guarantees Coach Schloss would be in Fort Worth for the duration.
Now that it's official and Schloss has signed on the dotted line, his first purchase should probably be a nice gift basket sent to the Texas Longhorns Athletics Department. Much like Gary Patterson and Sonny Cumbie before him, an opening at the state's flagship University led to a new contract and a fat stack of cash, as UT continues to serve as pay fodder for TCU and other schools that house top talent amongst their coaching ranks. And credit TCU and Chris Del Conte as well; they have never hesitated to do what it takes to keep their outstanding coaches in Fort Worth, and it has paid dividends in the win column. For his part, Del Conte recognizes that it's a different world in college athletics, and when you have the kind of coaches that the Horned Frogs have been lucky enough to have on campus for the last decade plus, you do what you have to to keep them:
"When the landscape starts to change," Del Conte said, "our job is to make sure our guys stay, and the landscape changed when Louisville gave its coach that raise.
"Gary Patterson and Schloss have taken us to new heights. My job is to make sure they stay at TCU."
It's no secret that on the field success drives the bus when it comes to college athletics, and the wins have come in droves for Schloss' squad - a group that has played in three straight College World Series, advanced to the Supers six times in the last eight seasons, and hosted Regionals in six of the last eight seasons - it's what they have done off the field that has made the program truly special. Their work in the community, the attitude of the players in the dugout and on the diamond, the leadership shown by players both young and old, and specifically, their commitment to Micah Ahern and support of their youngest teammate and his family - has shined brightest.
It was only a matter of time before they came to an agreement, as Schlossnagle likely had no desire to leave and TCU no intention to let him. While the Frogs came with in a game of playing for a National Championship in Omaha over the course of the past several weeks, it's just the tip of the iceberg for what this young team can do. Pending decisions by drafted players, TCU could potentially return starters at every position except center field in 2017 - and that role will likely be filled by Nolan Brown, a veteran who is expected back from injury next spring.
The TCU community, it's baseball program, and their fans are thankful to have Jim Schlossnagle officially signed on the dotted line. While other schools certainly called to inquire, Schloss and his family are a part of the fabric of Fort Worth and the TCU campus now, and neither side seems to have any desire to change that.