Contrary to published reports, a clause in his contract specifies the 64-year-old former coach be reassigned rather than receive a monetary settlement for any balance of his contract created by a termination without just cause.
According to the contract Crowe signed in June 2011, in that event, the university agrees to reassign him to a comparable-level position within the university — at the same salary — that reports directly to president Bill Meehan.
JSU released Crowe from the final two years of his $160,000-plus annual contract Friday night with athletics director Warren Koegel saying “it was time for a change.”
With no buyout provision, it appears Crowe must accept a new assignment or walk away empty-handed. It hasn’t been decided where he’ll be reassigned.
“It could be a variety of areas,” Meehan said. “We’re looking forward to talking with him about that. Jack has great skills. There’s a lot of talent Coach Crowe has that’s still available.”
The contracts of JSU basketball coach James Green or baseball coach Jim Case don’t contain similar language. The termination without cause clause in their contracts both pertain to their leaving for other jobs before the end of their deals.
Initially, athletics director Warren Koegel told The Star the disposition of Crowe’s contract would be between Meehan and Crowe, but Meehan said Monday since it involves athletics, all three people would be involved in the process.
“At this point it’s up to Jack and what Jack wants to do,” Meehan said.
Crowe declined to comment.
Crowe was 85-57 in 13 seasons with the Gamecocks, posting winning seasons in each of the last 10. His teams won three conference championships and played in the NCAA playoffs three times. During his tenure, the program changed conference affiliations, expanded its stadium and entertains the notion of moving to the FBS.
“Coach Crowe has taken us to a level in our football program we never achieved before,” Meehan said. “We appreciate his legacy.”
• MORE NAMES: As JSU officials work toward a contract resolution with their former coach, the search for a new coach continues. Two more names surfaced as likely candidates Tuesday.
According to persons close to each, West Alabama coach Will Hall and first-year Texas A&M linebackers coach Matt Wallerstedt are said to be applying.
Hall was the quarterback and Wallerstedt the defensive coordinator when North Alabama came to JSU and stunned the Gamecocks 28-16 in 2003. It’s the only loss the Gamecocks have suffered to a non-Division I team since joining an FCS conference in 1997.
Hall was 18 of 27 passing for 295 yards and four touchdowns – three in the second half – in the game. Wallerstedt’s defense held JSU to 310 total yards and six points in the second half.
Hall just completed his second year as West Alabama’s head coach after serving the previous three years at offensive coordinator. Wallerstedt, a 22-year coaching veteran, was at Akron, alma mater Kansas State and Air Force between UNA and Texas A&M. He was associate head coach at Akron and Air Force.
• OGLE ELEVATED: To keep the day-to-day operation running, recruiting coordinator Jimmy Ogle has been appointed interim head coach.
One of two assistants who had been with Crowe from the beginning here, Ogle oversees the running backs, but athletics director Warren Koegel said in a statement it was his “great understanding” of JSU’s recruiting effort that played the biggest part in the decision.
The Gamecocks secured nearly 10 early verbal commitments for the upcoming signing class and most have told The Star they were still committed to the program. They continue to talk with others, Ogle said.
Ogle said his priorities as interim coach are to make sure the players finish the semester “in the proper fashion” and keep the things that have already been done “together.” He declined to discuss Crowe’s departure, had no insight into the coaching search and predicted the players “will be OK no matter what’s going on.”
He wasn’t sure if being in the mix to become the next permanent head coach was a possibility, but said “I’m going to do all I can to stay here.” His wife, Kaci, is JSU’s alumni director.
“I’ll go to work tomorrow the same way I did today and keep coming to work and keep doing the best job I can,” Ogle said.
Sports Writer Al Muskewitz: 256-235-3577. On Twitter @almusky_star.