Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spoonhour Receives Contract Extension 1 Year Added, Tying Him to Bills through 2000-2001 Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spoonhour Receives Contract Extension 1 Year Added, Tying Him to Bills through 2000-2001 Season

Article excerpt

The college basketball season still is three months away. Yet, St. Louis University fans already are talking about the Billikens - more specifically, potential future Billikens such as Larry Hughes, Johnnie Parker and other key St. Louis-area recruits.

If they do decide to play at SLU, they should feel assured that Charlie Spoonhour will be their coach throughout their collegiate careers.

On Wednesday, SLU athletic director Doug Woolard announced the school has extended Spoonhour's contract into the next century. By adding a year to his existing pact, Spoonhour is tied to the Bills through the 2000-2001 season, which would be the collegiate senior year for the group of high school seniors he's currently recruiting.

"It wasn't a question of anything I was worried about," Spoonhour said. "But they came to me (with the extension), and it showed they care about continuing on what we've got going into the next millennium or century or whatever.

"It's not like I feel I'm going to stop there."

Spoonhour, 57, is preparing for his fifth season as Billikens coach. He signed one contract extension about two years ago, when Debbie Yow still was the school's athletic director.

Neither Woolard nor Spoonhour would discuss terms of the contract, but Spoonhour said its length was the only significant change. The contract he signed in 1994 included a base salary of about $200,000 from the university. His outside income related to the basketball job - from sources such as a shoe contract with Nike, speaking engagements, television and radio shows, and his association with Charlie Spoon's restaurant - totals at least an additional $200,000.

The contract still includes an escape clause, fairly standard among college coaches, that would allow him to take a different job. But Spoonhour has no expectations of going anywhere else.

"As long as the people are happy here with me, I'm very happy," Spoonhour said. "I expected to be happy when I took the job. But I had no idea how I'd do in a city setting and with the people here. Of course, you could always have problems if the athletic director leaves. But I went from an A.D. who hired me to an A.D. who want to keep me. …

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